Dir: Karyn Kusama
This movie draws its inspiration from a series of late night cartoons on MTV. Before the cartoon network and before much anime was available, MTV broke ground with it’s Liquid Television series offering animated shorts produced by artists around the world.
Perhaps the most enigmatic was Aeon Flux, which showcased a flexible woman assassin clad in a leather thong leaping around a dystopian cement-scape. The episodes were funky because she often died at the end of them only to be reborn in the next episode. Her usual target for assassination was the mysterious Trevor Goodchild, the leader of the futuristic world, who also showed up as a lover of Aeon Flux.
The live-action version of the cartoon stars academy award winner Charlize Theron who portrays an elite rebel assassin who is called upon to kill a government leader. Aeon Flux takes place 400 years after a catastrophe almost destroys the human race. The remaining 5 million peeps live in a walled city protected through regulation and surveillance.
Kusama does a neat job of translating the angles of cartoons into live action shots. Unlike Underworld or Blade, this vision of the future often takes place out in the sunlight, with acrobatic action shots in full view. A few of the shots resemble LA, and a few are repeated, but it is a visually enjoyable film.
The cast hold it down. In a pleasant turn, several women of color get leading roles as assassins, and Pete Postlethwaite shows up in a neat role. Theron does a good job giving the cartoon role a bit of depth and rocking out as a badass killer.
I won’t reveal the intricacies of the plot, but it is a worthwhile movie to see – you’ll enjoy it if you enjoy the genre.