Continuing our trail on the Sci-Fi path, let’s talk today about yet another glimpse of a future dystopian world created by Korean – American animator Peter Chung, featuring a leather-clad heroin called Æon Flux.
|Produced by||:||Gale Anne Hurd, David Gale, Gary Lucchesi, Greg Goodman|
|Written by||:||Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi|
|Based On||:||Æon Flux by Peter Chung|
|Music By||:||Graeme Revell|
|Editor||:||Peter Honess, Plummy Tucker|
|Production company||:||MTV Films, Lakeshore Entertainment, Valhalla Motion Pictures|
|Distributed by||:||Paramount Pictures|
|Released On||:||2 Dec 2005|
|Starring||:||Charlize Theron (Æon Flux),Marton Csokas (Trevor Goodchild), Jonny Lee Miller (Oren Goodchild), Sophie Okonedo (Sithandra), Pete Postlethwaite (Keeper), Frances McDormand (Handler), Amelia Warner (Una Flux), Caroline Chikezie (Freya), Nikolai Kinski (Claudius), Paterson Joseph (Giroux), Yangzom Brauen (Inari), Ralph Herforth (Gardenar), and others…|
The published media comprises of an animated TV series aired on MTV in 1991 and TV-14 in 1995, comic books, video games and 2005 film release starring Charlize Theron.
The DVD release of the film also included a small feature called Investigation: The History of Aeon Flux wherein Peter Chung explains the evolution of the series from almost soundless early animations, his frustrations regarding the limitations of the characters and how he set out about developing those.
The TV series episodes had Aeon dying in almost every one of those and there was hardly any continuity as Peter did not expect the series to have a long run.
While we admired the TV series episodes, it is the 2005 film that we are going to talk about in this post because it provides a plot that is complete, with potential of continuity and fairly tight script that makes it quite an enjoyable thriller. MTV produced the film “Aeon Flux” which was directed by Karyn Kusama. Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi joined hands to write the screenplay.
It is 2415, 404 years after the disastrous end of 99% of human population in 2011. All the survivors teamed up and now live an idyllic but heavily controlled state of Bregna, led by President Trevor Goodchild, who is a technocrat leading significant research in addition to ruling the country. While life is good in general, most people suffer from bad dreams, hallucinations and occasionally disappear as part of police proceedings.
Where there is a police state, there also ought to be a group of rebels. Enter Monicans, highly trained in arts of assassination and acrobatics, they can communicate through combination of telepathy and science. Aeon – meaning emanations of God – is the most skilled asset of this group. On returning from her mission to destroy a surveillance station, she finds her sister Una has been killed by the police. So, when Aeon receives an assignment to kill President Goodchild, it is her long-awaited opportunity for revenge.
But, the encounter doesn’t go as planned, because no one had accounted for a mysterious personnel connection that seem to exist between Trevor and Aeon. They both have fuzzy memories featuring each other and they both feel strangely attracted. Aeon starts questioning her origins and the source of this connection, which eventually leads her to the root cause of her sister’s death, debating ethics of human cloning and immortality on the way.
We also find that Trevor’s brother Oren (played by ‘Elementary’ fame Jonny Lee Miller) has been plotting for the failure of Trevor’s research, his assassination and ultimately Oren’s rise to presidency.
But by now Aeon is considered to have abandoned her mission, and is being hunted by Monicans in addition to the army of Bregna. Some thrilling chases and spectacular fights later, she finds answers to her questions and also completes her self-assigned mission successfully.
The film did not do very well commercially and both film critics and fans rejected it at some level. Even Peter Chung described it as a “travesty” in one of his later interviews, claiming that the screenwriters had “softened it for the public”.
Although it might not have lived up to the expectations of the long-standing fans of the series, in our opinion, as a stand-alone, it is worthwhile watching for its thrills and visuals.
Six out of ten……………