Æon Flux (2005) – Review

Æon Flux (Aeon Flux) is a movie directed by Karyn Kusama, starring Charlize Theron.

A supposed blockbuster that aimed, shot, and missed the mark.

Premise

The only habitable place on Earth in the year 2415 has become autocratic state ruled by the same clan for the past 400 years. The only dissidents are the Monicans, a group of rebels who fight against the established leaders.

Review

Æon Flux was originally an animated cult series from the 90’s aired on MTV, long before movies like The Matrix (1999) or Minority Report (2002) came about. But given that the movie adaptation was produced in 2005, it probably came too late as the futuristic imagery had already been captured by those two remarkable predecessors.

Just to update you: Aeon Flux was ripped apart by film critics, and shred it to pieces saying that, in short, it was a senseless spectacle.

Æon Flux
Æon Flux (2005)

We do not intend to rebut the critics who wrote their negative reviews back in the day, because let’s be honest, Aeon Flux is a bit “vacuous” (or quite “vacuous”), true, but it does manage to portray the setting of the series, to a certain extent. Where it fails terribly, is in omitting the sense of humor that was so characteristic of the animated series, in order to focus on the action scenes (which, are consecutive in the film), as well as show off the special effects that had already become mainstream by the mid-noughts.

In spite of it being a failure, it is a show that counted on good art direction, although far from reaching the heights of say, The Matrix (1999), let alone Blade Runner that did not count the advanced CGI in 1982.

Visually, Aeon Flux is good. As a story, especially if you are or were a follower of the animated series on MTV, it disappoints in its lack of strangeness and sense of humor that were so particular to the original.

Our Opinion

This is a movie that is rather inane, and does not manage to be absurd or surreal enough to convince us. The movie does not do the story justice, and it seems that neither the director nor the writers knew how to grapple with it.

Other Reviews

An effort that’s somehow both depressing and trivial.

Kim Newman: Empire Magazine

Kusama (Girlfight) and her writers play it dead straight, and the result isn’t nearly as much fun as it should be.

Rich Cline: Shadows on the Wall

The Original

Should you want a tiny taste of the original animated series….

The Director

Karyn Kusama

Karyn Kusama
Karyn Kusama

Karyn Kiyoko Kusama (born March 21, 1968) is an American filmmaker. She made her directorial and writing feature film debut with the sports drama Girlfight (2000) for which she received a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature. Kusama went on to direct the science fiction action film Æon Flux (2005), based on Peter Chung’s animated series of the same name and the cult horror comedy film Jennifer’s Body (2009). After working extensively as a television director, Kusama directed the horror film The Invitation (2015), a segment in the all-female horror anthology film XX (2017), and the Nicole Kidman-starring crime thriller film Destroyer (2018). Among her accolades, Kusama has received awards from the Cannes Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival.

Cast

Æon Flux (2005) - Review
Charlize Theron / Æon Flux
Æon Flux (2005) - Review
Marton Csokas / Trevor Goodchild
Æon Flux (2005) - Review

Jonny Lee Miller / Oren Goodchild
Æon Flux (2005) - Review

Sophie Okonedo / Sithandra
Æon Flux (2005) - Review

Frances McDormand / Handler
Æon Flux (2005) - Review

Pete Postlethwaite / Keeper
Æon Flux (2005) - Review

Amelia Warner / Una Flux
Æon Flux (2005) - Review
Caroline Chikezie / Freya
Æon Flux (2005) - Review
Paterson Joseph / Giroux
Æon Flux (2005) - Review

Nikolai Kinski / Claudius

See full credits >>

Martin Cid
Martin Cid
Writer, pipe smoker and founder of MCM
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