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Aeon Flux
DVD disk
Apr 25, 2006 By: Quigles
Aeon Flux order
Director:
Karyn Kusama

Actors:
Charlize Theron
Marton Csokas
Johnny Lee Miller

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Based on the animated series of the same name, ON FLUX is set in the future, where a group of rebels (the Monicans) are trying to overthrow the over-controlling government that now plagues the heartily under populated world. on, under the influence of the Monicans, is sent on a mission to assassinate the "chairman"... but things go awry when a mystery begins to unravel. Fun should ensue... but rarely does.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
There are some movies out there that come along, take you by surprise, and make you fall in love with them. ON FLUX is not that movie. It's the opposite. It's that one movie that came out in theaters, made you excited to see it, and then pissed you off at how lame it was... followed by sticking with you afterwards because of how good it could've been. Sure, it has a couple of solid action scenes, but without a strong story to back them up, they feel a whole lot less engaging.

The problems with ON FLUX are evident from the beginning. The story starts off with some very uninteresting exposition, as well as an introduction to on... Let me tell you, this chick has got to be one of the lamest action heroines to ever grace the screen, ranking right up there with Catwoman and Elektra when they got their own films. Of course, I'm strictly talking about the live-action film. Peter Chung's animated series ON FLUX was a badass show. It was confusing as hell, but was also exciting and intriguing. The lead character actually had depth, and the show's style was awesome. None of this is transferred well to the live-action adaptation, except for the "confusing" part. And it's not because the movie's story is complex or anything - it's just poorly told.

I'm surprised to say one of this movie's main issues is Charlize Theron, who seriously feels like she's falling asleep half the time. She might be a great actress in dramas and such, but she can't play an action hero for shit. The other actors are even worse. Not a single one of them is an appealing character - where's the screen presence? I SAW NONE! But that isn't all that's unappealing on the eyes - the movie's "style" is also surprisingly grating. This is one of those cases where the filmmakers should realize that transferring the look straight from the series its based on just doesn't quite work. All of the "sci-fi" aspects of FLUX's world are shown in this bizarre way, as if we're supposed to go, "Oh... cool." But we don't. Instead we say, "Oh... that's really, really stupid." The costumes are a good example of this. They're distracting and look really impractical. In one particular scene, on wears an all-white jumpsuit-ish piece of clothing while infiltrating a guarded area. Uh... Why is she wearing a completely white outfit and being stealthy at the same time??? That's not cool. It's dumb. And the exact same thing can be said for this movie.
THE EXTRAS
The special features are pretty basic in form, featuring a number of short featurettes and a couple of commentary tracks. However, the making-of docs actually end up being rather interesting, even more so than the actual film.

Commentary (with Charlize Theron and producer Gale Ann Hurd): A very matter-of-fact commentary, with both Theron and Hurd stating many tidbits from production and such. It's not a very interesting track, but at least it's consistent.

Commentary (with screenwriters Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi): Considering I thought the script for this film was rather lousy, I was shocked to find both speakers here rather interesting, as well as very intelligent. This commentary is worth checking out more than the actual film, as it actually makes the "dumb sci-fi" stuff seem just a little less like, well, dumb sci-fi.

Creating a World: Aeon Flux (20:49): Although still a very commercial type of making-of featurette, this is one of the better ones I've seen. It keeps things interesting by showing footage from the original series, interviews, behind-the-scenes clips, and more. Everything from the story to the movie's visual style is discussed, all within a short timeframe. So basically, it's not very in-depth, but it should suffice for basic fans.

The Locations of Aeon Flux (14:47): An interesting featurette that, obviously, discusses the movie's shooting locations. What's really cool about this is that you get to see how part of the film was shot in this incredibly bizarre city in Brazil.

The Stunts of Aeon Flux (9:03): This featurette goes over both Theron's training and stunt-work during shooting. I especially enjoyed this extra because it allowed me to watch Theron bend around in some very arousing positions while practicing gymnastics. Theron + spandex + opening legs = boner-tastic. (And yes, I know: me = immature)

The Costume Design Workshop of Aeon Flux (13:37): This was the one featurette that I thought was pretty dull, but that could've been because I thought the costume design looked stupid instead of cool. If you liked the look of the clothing shown in the movie, this might appeal to you.

The Craft of the Set Photographer (3:34): A very brief, but altogether interesting featurette about a position that is almost always overlooked in film: the set photographer (who's images are used for magazines, posters, etc.). I have to admit, it was pretty cool to see something different for a change.

There is also the Theatrical Trailer and 3 Previews.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
ON FLUX is the equivalent of this one kid I used to know from my freshman year of high school. He would always wear slick shades, spike his hair, and just try to act as cool as possible. But then when I actually went up to talk to him, he ended up being a major dork, as well as a complete poser. After I realized that, I also realized that he actually didn't even look that cool to begin. In fact, he looked stupid. And then I felt stupid for having actually gone up to talk to him. Yup - if ON FLUX was a person, he would be that kid.
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