Friday, February 24, 2006

Movie Review: Aeon Flux

Before I get into the review, I've just categorised the links in the "Links" section on the right. As you can see, there are some interesting additions to the new "People I'm Working With" section. I can't say too much about that right now, but watch this space.

Okay, on to the review. Aeon Flux is based on an animated series that was originally shown on MTV in 1995 (although, I'm sure it was longer ago than that...). It was shown on BBC2 in the UK, and, to be honest, I seem to remember it as a one off, but, apparently, it was a series. What sticks in my mind was Aeon catching a fly with her eyelashes in the opening sequence, and that's recreated at the beginning of the movie. As for the plot of the original, I honeslty can't remember any of it, for me it was a purely visual experience. At the time the animation was ground breaking. Something very new and very different, although obviously influenced by Japanese anime.

The plot of the film is fairly interesting. Ninety-nine percent of humanity has been wiped out by a virus. A cure was found but only 5 million people remained alive to carry on the human race. Four hundred years after the cure is discovered what's left of humanity lives in a walled city which has been run by the family of the man who created the cure since its discovery. Although it appears to be a utopian society anyone who opposes the ruling family "disappear" and there is a deep and disturbing secret at the heart of the society.

I'm not a big fan of Charlize Theron, and wasn't expecting much of this movie, but she's really good as the moody assassin/spy, Aeon. The rest of the cast are great too, especially Marton Csokas (who genre fans will know as Celeborn from LOTR, and, apparently he played Poggle The Lesser in Episode II). He plays the chairman, Trevor Goodchild, the leader of this oppressive society. Jonny Lee Miller (Trainspotting) plays his slightly unstable brother, Oren. There is a complex relationship between the three main protagonists and the three main actors gte the balance spot on.

I've read other reviews where the script has been heavily criticised. Personally, I didn't have a problem with it, but maybe I was just distracted by the fantastic production design. It's reminiscent of the sci-fi films of the early to mid seventies, such as Logan's Run and THX-1138 (a movement that Star Wars was both a part of, and brought to an end). It's characterised by the use of lots of brutalist, concrete architecture, and form fitting bodysuits. It's a gorgeous film and will, to a certain generation, have the look and feel of a "proper" sci-fi film. It reminded me of a period in my youth when I discovered my parent's collection of old sci-fi paperbacks by the likes of Philip K. Dick and Poul Anderson and I'd spend lazy summer afternoons devouring them on the sofa.

Ultimately this is a good sci-fi film, probably not a classic, but definitely worth seeing if you're a fan of the genre.

Rating: 7/10

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