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      Aeon Flux Review

      Aeon Flux poster

      Aeon Flux

      Robert K. Elder, Chicago Tribune

      Before ?The Matrix? there was ?Aeon Flux,? Peter Chung?s sexy, ultraviolent and deeply weird animated MTV series from the early 1990s.

      Wearing a skimpy leather uniform (when she wore anything at all), iconoclast Flux was part commando, part comic dominatrix, working for and answering to no one. She was an enigma, her motivations seldom revealed to viewers.

      It?s easy to see, then, why ?Girlfight? director Karyn Kusama?s live-action adaptation of ?Aeon Flux,? starring Charlize Theron, runs out of ammo. Even though Theron?s Flux wears more clothes, she?s totally undressed by the third act.

      In her live-action debut, Flux takes orders from The Handler (Frances McDormand, with severe bed-head), leader of an underground movement bent on assassinating Trevor Goodchild (Marton Csokas), chairman of a futuristic totalitarian government.

      Screenwriters Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi adapt some of Chung?s best ideas (an agent with hands in place of feet, a dimensional shift belt) and add a few of their own (biochemical messages). However, Flux is softened considerably and made an avenging angel for her government-whacked sister.

      Kusama?s movie falls prey to a recent screenwriting bugaboo that demands every bit of a character?s back story and motivation be explained. By forcing definition on Flux, the filmmakers rob her of any allure. What do they offer instead? Clumsy exposition, bland PG-13 gunfights and subpar computer animation.

      Ten years ago, Chung?s animated ?Aeon Flux? was groundbreaking and inspirational. It still is. Maybe another spin through Chung?s ?Flux? DVD set will wipe away all memory of its middling live-action cousin.

      ?Aeon Flux?

      Directed by Karyn Kusama; screenplay by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi; cinematography by Stuart Dryburgh; production designed by Andrew McAlpine; music by Graeme Revell; edited by Peter Honess, Plummy Tucker and Jeff Gullo; produced by David Gale, Greg Goodman, Martha Griffin, Gale Anne Hurd and Gary Lucchesi. A Paramount Pictures release; opened Friday, Dec. 2. Running time: 1:35. MPAA rating: PG-13 (sequences of violence and sexual content).

      Aeon Flux - Charlize Theron

      Trevor Goodchild - Marton Csokas

      Handler - Frances McDormand

      Sithandra - Sophie Okonedo

      Oren Goodchild - Jonny Lee Miller

      Una Flux - Amelia Warner

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