Aeon Flux, et al: Chicks In Tight Outfits Kicking Some Ass


#1

So Aeon Flux finally bubbled up in the ol' Netflix queue. I've been doing the 'chicks in tight outfits kicking some ass in movies whose titles begin with a vowel' lately. Ultraviolet, Underworld: Evolution, and now Aeon Flux.

I'd heard Aeon Flux was the worst of the lost, so I figured I'd just put it on while I was doing some work. So much for doing some work. I pretty much dug the movie, despite its shortcomings.

I don't know anything about the Aeon Flux animated shorts on MTV, but I can imagine the visual style in the movie was often an homage. Fine by me. The overall look was low budget, but they did well enough considering what they were working with. There was some pretty cool gadget bits that were probably ruined if you watched the trailer, but I'd never seen the trailer. Which pays off in movies like this.

Good cast, with some silly cameos from Francis McDormand and Pete Postlethwaite. Charlize Theron looked great and did well enough with some snippets of bad dialogue. But for the most part, she managed to sell the heart of the movie, which was her connection to first her sister and then Marton Csokas (who was Celeborn in the Hobbit movies, plus he had a really cool scene in Bourne Supremacy where Matt Damon kicks his ass using a magazine).

And because it banked so heavily on that relationship, I liked the movie. For an action movie, it was surpisingly story- and character-centric. I'm going to go ahead and presume credit belongs to director Karen Kusama, whose only other movie is Girlfight. Because if some music video/commercial director dude like Kurt Wimmer or former stuntman like Len Wiseman had directed Aeon Flux, I can only imagine how bad it would have been.

Instead, we got a thoughtful story, action scenes that were more interested in tableau than choreography, and a really cool reveal sequence that will be ruined for you if you read Glenn's post in an earlier thread about the movie. What a cool premise, and a follow-through and conclusion that manages to do it justice!

At any rate, I'd say it's the cheapest looking of the three movies, but easily the best. Ultraviolet was a cartoon that was far too clumsy with anything but action sequences, and Underworld Evolution was just flat-out clumsy. I mainly disliked Underworld because Scott Speedman is such an unconvincing schlub that every time he's on screen, the only thing I can think is 'That frickin' dork doesn't even belong in the same movie with someone as hot as Kate Beckinsale!'

So there you have it. They're all bad, and it helps if you come at them with appropriately reduced expectations, but I really liked Aeon Flux. Of course, take this with a grain of salt considering I'm a guy who really liked the Charlie's Angels movies...

-Tom


#2

It's been a while since I watched it, but I agree -- I thought Aeon Flux was a decent B action movie.


#3

Did Marton Csokas have a silly accent in Aeon Flux?


#4

He wasn't speaking Elvish, if that's what you mean. He's a New Zealander/Hungarian, according to IMDB, so lord only knows what his actual accent is like.

-Tom


#5

He doesn't need to have any accent, judging by interviews I've seen, but everything I've seen him in, he has some strange accent, whether in xXx, Fellowship of the Ring or Xena.


#6

I agree with Tom... mostly. Aeon Flux isn't terrible, but you have to go in with lowered expectations, both in terms of quality and how it will relate to the original series.

I think Underworld is better FWIW.


#7

Of the three, I thought Aeon Flux had the best plot (though still not a great one) and the weakest action scenes, while Ultraviolet had the best visual style and action scenes but the worst plot and dialog. The Underworld films I liked for their nuanced depiction of star-crossed romance amidst interracial strife, a la Romeo & Juliet.

BWAHAHAHAHA! Naaah, I'm just shittin' y'all: I'm only here for Kate Beckinsale's leather-clad buttocks. Everything else is, as they used to say, pure gravy.

I don't remember the animated AF too good at this point, but I had the distinct impression the movie was quite different overall.


#8

Ack! Dude... Nerd Cred -500. Seek ye the sacred tomes ASAP.


#9

I really liked Aeon Flux as well. Ofcourse I'm the guy who dug DareDevil.


#10

I completed the same CITOKSA round a couple months back, and came to the exact same conclusions as Tom.

OT but strangely, at around this time, I also found myself stuck in this bizarre cycle of repeatedly attempting to rent Poseidon and never actually being able to watch it.


#11

Buh?

What happened? Were all the DVDs defective? Or did they just never send it? Or did your hand twitch and slam the disc back into the mailbox every time you went to get the mail?


#12

If only it were that interesting. Not sure why I even bothered to mention it here, a bit of posting turrets I think. First time, I found I'd accidentally rented The Poseidon Adventure and punched the eject button as soon as I saw Guttenberg's name. Second time, the disc simply vanished and by the time I found it I had to return it unwatched due to vacation plans. The third time, someone else in my household dominated the television for a week and I again returned the damn thing unwatched. I can't actually remember what happened the fourth time but I do recall vowing that the movie was cursed and to stop bothering.


#13

"I want you to call me at midnight."

That's for barstein, for when he finally gets around to watching Poseiden.

Zylon, should I really bother with seeing the animated Aeon Fluxes? I'm not an anime fan. And I think the thing I really liked about the movie -- the reveal about why everyone was having dreams, for instance -- is something that wasn't from the cartoon, right? Wasn't the cartoon just this chick getting killed, Prince of Persia style, at the end of every episode?

-Tom


#14

Oh, and the true test of how committed you are to watching Chicks In Tight Outfits Kicking Some Ass is whether or not you can sit through Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever. I could. And I even dug it.

Now to be fair, half of Ballistic was Antonio Banderas Looking Soulful In The Rain, which I know is kinda gay, but it worked for me. I don't mind saying that he's a good-lookin' fella.

-Tom


#15

Ugh. That's like the biggest compliment you could give Tom.


#16

GLFITOKSA?

Actually, I guess Ecks Vs. Sever was GLFITOKSCITOA.


#17

Don't do it - it's a trap.
I haven't seen the movie yet, but one reason for doing it, is that people complain that it isn't true to the series. The series made no sense, looked ugly and bored me to tears.


#18

Haven't seen Aeon Flux yet. The Underworld sequel was disappointing in that I had hoped that they'd clarify and further develop the vampiric family intrigues from the first part; instead, we got the cinematic equivalent of a rail shooter. Besides, the looks were a bit too obviously cloned from The Matrix for my taste.


#19

I saw this on the plane this summer. I had low expectations due to the reviews, but I thought it was better than most in-flight movies: I liked the plot and the "scenery," but the action sequences seemed overlong and there wasn't much interesting dialog. (But then I'm not really a fan of action movies.) So given my tastes the movie was fine for the plane but not good enough for a Netflix spot.


#20

Is this method acting in preparation for playing Gil?