Over 400 years in the future, the remnants of humanity live in one last city. This is under the total control of the Goodchild regime. Innocents are constantly disappearing. The government is fought by the Monican resistance, and super-assassin Aeon Flux (Charlize Theron) is sent to assassinate supreme leader Trevor Goodchild. At the moment of her victory, however, she hesitates, and it soon becomes apparent that nothing is as she though it was.
This financial dud is unlikely to be…rediscovered as an unjustly ignored SF classic. That said, it has a certain retro charm. Its beyond-stylish vision of the future has a pleasant Barbarella vibe, and Theron is suitably lithe in the title role. The film is much less decadent than the cartoon that inspired it, just as Theron’s costume is hugely toned down from her animated predecessor, but there is a plot, more or less, for those who care about such things. But the main joy here is the eye candy, and on that front, the movie delivers.
The ear candy ain’t half bad, when it comes to that, either. The very first sound we hear is the buzzing of the iconic fly (to be caught in Aeon’s eyelashes), and it moves very convincingly from one speaker to the other. The environmental effects are nothing short of spectacular, and the pounding electronica score pumps up the energy without ever drowning out the dialogue. In short, a superb audio track.
The eye candy is extremely well served by the transfer. There is a tiny bit of edge enhancement visible, but otherwise, that’s pretty much the only flaw I noticed. There is no grain, the image is extremely sharp, and the colours are sumptuous. Blacks are fabulous, as are the skin tones. For a film that, whatever its makers might think, actually lives or dies on how good it looks, this looks damn fine.
There are two commentary tracks. Theron and producer Gale Anne Hurd take care of one, co-writers Phil Hay and Matt Mandredi the other. Both discussions engage seriously with the film (perhaps more seriously than the material warrants in the case of the first). The writers delve into the movie’s relationship with the cartoon, and also talk about the stuff, perhaps important, that was removed from this cut of the film. There are five featurettes, essentially promotional but not uninteresting, examining the world, locations, stunts, costume design and set photography of the movie. The theatrical trailer is accompanied by the usual assortment of other previews. The menu’s main screen and intro are animated and scored.
It ain’t Eisenstein. But I would call this a guilty pleasure, if I felt at all guilty about it.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentaries
- 5 Making-of Featurettes
- Theatrical Trailer