Friday, August 12, 2016

Now That Everybody Loves Comic Book Movies, Let’s Watch Aeon Flux Again

Aeon Flux (2005), or Æon Flux, the movie based on the stylish 1990’s MTV animated series by Peter Chung, features Charlize Theron, a full 10 years before she becomes Imperator Furiosa, as the titular deadly and graceful Monican agent.  Imagine if Cirque du Soleil had a school for assassins.  She catches a fly in her eyelashes in her first scene, a direct reference to the cartoon, but her original strappy g-string outfit, really no more revealing than Leeloo’s thermal bandage dress (1997) has been replaced by a more conventional catsuit.
Director Karyn Kusima of Girlfight (2000) and Jennifer’s Body (2009) depicts Bregna, Earth’s only surviving city as a dystopian walled city-state full of beautiful multi-racial citizens in stylish, monochromatic ensembles.  The costumes and architecture accurate but even Charlize Theron’s willowy supermodel physique can’t compete with Peter Chung’s long-limbed giraffe necked citizens of Bregna, who resemble the Na-vi from Avatar (2009).
Visually stylish and with excellent production design, Aeon Flux presents a fully realized world of deadly gardens with plant based security systems needle grass and dart-fruits.  Nanotechnology, biometric implants and pollen spores that carry telepathic messages pose intriguing questions in a movie that seems in places to be a screen accurate, live-action version of the cartoon.  There’s plenty of Matrix-y fight scenes, cool gadgets, and a convoluted plot involving revolution and clones, but that doesn’t merit the thrashing the movie received critically and at the box office.
Look out for Sithandra, Aeon’s assassin bestie with her hand/feet, as portrayed by Sophie Okenado, along with Jonny LeeMiller as Oren Goodchild, and Pete Postlethwaite, Mr. Kobiyashi from The Usual Suspects (1995), as Keeper.  Also watch out for British actor Patterson Joseph as Giroux, who you know as Johnson from Peep Show as Giroux and Berlin actor Nikolai Kinski (yes, that Kinski, Klaus’s son and Nastassja’s half brother), as Claudius.
Not Marvel or DC, but something else, something original, and also something confusing for non-fans of the cartoon, Aeon Flux currently holds a 10% on Rotten Tomatoes.  Creator Peter Chung was disappointed in the result, but a decade later the movie seems very accurate in respect to the source, with perfectly executed CGI and green screens that hold up over time simply because the vision was so creative and unique.
I’m certain this movie was released ten years too soon, and was lost in the CGI forest of 2005 that included Peter Jackson’s King Kong, Batman Begins, Sin City, Star Wars Episode III, Serenity, Constantine, and Corpse Bride.  Incidentally, 2005 also saw the release of arguably Val Kilmer’s last great movie, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. 



my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hr diner with the best pie in town…

read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback from these fine (amazon) bookstores.