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Aeon Flux

Aeon Flux on DVD

A B-sci-fi movie made by the MTV generation for the MTV generation.

Aeon Flux stars Charlize Theron as a futuristic butt-kicker in a futuristic totalitarian society.

There’s one city left on the planet, after most of the population was destroyed by a killer virus. A secret band of underground rebels have trained lethal assassins (as opposed to assassins who only hurt their victims) to take out high-ranking government officials. By far the best is Aeon Flux, as beautiful as she is dangerous.

For some reason, she doesn’t go through with her latest assignment. This sort of throws a wrench in things, but Aeon has a feeling there’s something deeper at work here than what everybody knows. Naturally, she investigates, and there are people who don’t appreciate it.

This is the kind of movie that pretty much everybody is going to find plenty of fault with, but we have to admit it’s really not that bad. It’s a pretty interesting story with some well-done action and special effects. Sure, it’s cheesy at times, but it doesn’t try not to be. It’s based on an old MTV cartoon, for pete’s sake.

It’s worth the price of admission alone just to watch Charlize in action. She’s a beautiful woman with some fine assets that she doesn’t mind flaunting (and God bless her for it). She even has the advantage of being a really good actress.

Unfortunately, as is typical of this fare, the film suffers from ADD and assumes its entire audience does as well. Perhaps most of them do, but that doesn’t mean the entire movie needs to be a series of quick, nearly unintelligible shots.

We’re sure it’s all in good fun, though.

There are some really cool sci-fi bits, too, such as the assassin who’s had hands grafted where her feet once were. It leads to some neat moments. Some of the defense systems for the headquarters building are also pretty cool.

In short, Aeon Flux is a moderately likable sci-fi action thriller. It’s surely not for everyone, but those at who it's aimed should get some genuine enjoyment from it.

The DVD is pretty great. The 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen looks fantastic, with rich, vibrant colors and stunning detail. Everything looks lush and bright, and it makes you want to be there. During some of the darker moments we noticed traces of grain, but they are easily forgivable. The audio, available in Dolby Digital 5.1 or 2.0, is also great. The surrounds all get used very effectively, particularly during the action scenes, in which all five speakers and the subwoofer get a great workout. Some of the dialogue is too quiet, but that’s our only complaint.

In the extras department, the disc starts off with two audio commentaries. The first is by Ms. Theron and producer Gale Ann Hurd, while the second is by screenwriters Phil Hay & Matt Manfredi. Neither is a particularly stimulating track, but we do learn a few things about the development of the project and get to hear some stories from the shoot. We also get five standard featurettes, each of which focuses on a certain aspect of the production. As a collective, they would equal one not bad making-of documentary.

Of course, there’s also the theatrical trailer.

Aeon Flux, from Paramount Home Entertainment
92 minutes, anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) 16x9 enhanced, Dolby Digital 5.1
Starring Charlize Theron, Marton Csokas, Jonny Lee Miller, Sophie Okonedo, Pete Postlethwaite and Frances McDormand
Produced by Gale Ann Hurd, David Gale, Gary Lucchesi, Gregory Goodman, Martha Griffin
Written by Phil Hay & Matt Manfredi, directed by Karyn Kusama

Jim Bray's columns are available through the TechnoFile Syndicate.

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