Producer Gale Anne Hurd’s film, Aeon Flux, is the next stop in the Sci-Fi Chronicles book. Starring Charlize Theron, Sophie Okonedo, and Frances McDormand, the movie is an adaptation of the MTV animated series.
The film has a lot going for it, fantastic cast, (Theron carries the film easily, and looks amazing kicking ass), wonderful visuals, but the story falls short. There are some big ideas that could have been brought into play, that just weren’t and the film’s 90 minute runtime certainly doesn’t help.
It’s 400 years in the future, almost 99% of humanity has been wiped out, and the remaining survivors live in a lone city. The survivors were saved by a cure created by the Goodchild family, and they have been ruling ever since. Some have begun to rebel against their leadership, and these rebels, Monacans by name, are bringing the fight. Aeon Flux (Theron) is their primary weapon, an assassin who gets her assignments from the Handler (McDormand). She is sent after Trevor Goodchild (Marton Csokas), but things go sideways when more is revealed.
The visuals are great, but without a strong story (honestly, this one needed more depth, some stronger characters and maybe perhaps better edited action sequences) this one flounders.
As mentioned Theron carries the film easily, and outfitted in costumes designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier she looks fabulous.
Had the film been padded out with more story and character, and embraced a bit of its more surreal aspects, this could really have been something. Unfortunately, the studio heads played it safe, the story is weak, and the film ends up being just another piece of easily disposable and quickly forgotten sci-fi fare.
That is unfortunate, because of done right, if the world had been completely and fully realised, if the film had taken its time, built everything up, there is the possibility that Theron could have revisited the role a couple of times. I think if something like this material were visited today, an eye would be put towards creating a tentpole franchise.
The film has some strong supporting actors in the film as well including Pete Postlethwaite and Johnny Lee Miller, so all of it just feels sad that it couldn’t have been more strongly realised.
Theron walked away from this one relatively unscathed, both in terms of career and physically (she did a lot of her own stunts) and continues to do wonderful work in a variety of genres, but every time I hear that she is doing a science fiction film, I always perk up.
In other news, my time with the Sci-Fi Chronicles book is coming to an end… there are four films to go… wow!