Thursday, December 01, 2005

Flux Capacity

So, Aeon Flux.

Sorry, give me a minute. My brain is still sluggish from being tired and trudging through the aforementioned essay.


It is a hot girl assassin movie. There are two things that usually make critical thought irrelevant whan it comes to movies. One of those is the promise of car stunts, provided they are executed with enthusiasm and high style. The other is girls with guns. Transporter 2 met both of those requirements and excelled at each. Matrix Reloaded somehow took those strengths and made you forget about them by being incredibly labored at everything.

I want to like the idea of Aeon Flux. I want for this to be a cool movie. But there is really nothing about it that stirs any emotion. Spiky CGI grass? Explosive marbles? Those just detract from the scene where Charlize Theron is firing a machine gun. And the fact that they're in every trailer plants fears that they are this movie's idea of spectacular.

Let's back up. I never saw the cartoon version. But I remember it having a distinct, edgy vibe. This movie has a bland-looking vision of the future. It's the Future from 1970s movies, the Future from Woody Allen's Sleeper. This look does not say Aeon Flux. Why does everything look so fake and clean and empty?

Furthermore, Charlize Theron is cute, sure, even hot. But hers is a soft beauty, ill-suited for the hard-assed, violent type. You could maybe devise a role in which her violence played in counterpoint to her nice-girl looks, but this isn't it. Maybe I'm still clinging to that cartoon vision too much, but this character calls for a sharp-edged type, a little scary. She does look pretty good on the poster, and in that one machine gun shot. But for the most part, as much as I want to, I'm not buying it.


Meli said...

Having seen the cartoon, I can also attest to the fact that they have Charlize wearing a lot more clothing than her animated counterpart. I don't know if that makes a difference to you, but there it is.

lyan! said...

they shoulda got someone like that dark-haired gal from Twin peaks. she'da been good. And yeah, the cartoon was bizarely wonderful. One of my first parlays into anime. I hoped it would all be weird. sadly only 20% is. But that's enough I guess.

Anonymous said...

The costume and the PG-13 rating have pretty much removed any desire I might have had to see the movie.

I think part of the reason the cartoon was beloved in its Liquid Television days was what Ryan said - it was the first exposure to anime for a lot of people. So, while I remember it being cool, a lot of that cool might have come from it being so different than other animation I'd seen, and not any inherent properties of the story or character.


C said...

I heard Charlize on the radio the other day talking about how damn much she trained for this movie. Aeon (is that her name) does some kind of crazy tip toe crawl that i vaguely remember from the MTV days. and they actually made it happen in real life. But is wasn't *quite* cool enough, so after *all* that effort they added a harness.

i'd like to see that. I haven't seen the trailer yet, is it included?

Kenny said...

I spotted some crawling in the trailer but you can't tell she's on her toes or anything. I imagine it would probably cooler to see someone do it for real, without a harness. Let it look difficult, if if is difficult. Things look fake when they look too easy.

I never watched the cartoon, but I caught glimpses of it and I know what it looked like. It doesn't bother me that she's covered up so much as it bothers me that her leotard is boring and unstylish.

lydia said...

Wow, Kenny is right. That leotard could be a LOT cooler.

Then again, Lara Croft didn't have a fantastic costume design, but Angelina Jolie still managed to look kick-assedly hot.