©2008 Big Empire Industries and Randy Shandis Enterprises
Every right imaginable is reserved.


This week:
Aeon Flux

Filthy says:
"Flux Sux Rox and Dix."

Fuck, man. I wish I had taken one more week off. Hell, I wish I'd been hit by a truck on the way to the Olde Town Cinema and missed Aeon Flux. Traction and a cast has got to be better than this shit. What a depressing showcase for the worst architecture of Bauhaus.

Aeon Flux is a high school sci-fi club's wet dream; if they made it themselves. It's full of the hackneyed big ideas that weird outsiders obsess over. And just like high school kids, it mostly mutters incoherently to itself.

Charlize Theron, getting back to being a shitty actress after some gold-digging performances in super-serious Oscar-type crap, plays Aeon Flux, a rebel in a dystopian future-world shaped by the Sharper Image. The world's population, which this movie estimates at 500 million, so only off by six billion, was mostly wiped out by a disease before Marton Csokas found a cure and created a walled-in community for the survivors.

The plot, which hit us in drab greasy blobs of expository dialog is some goth kid's wet dream about cloning and a perfect society collapsing because the clones are beginning to remember past lives, and some asshole who wants to live forever killing off women who get pregnant because that means no clones. Theron and Csokas, who just happened to be lovers in previous lives, must team up to fight their former allies and save society. Nothing original, but the movie was made by a director and writers so fucking clueless they think this is really deep thinking, or at least original enough to presented with an awestruck flatness.

As stupid as the plot is, the pacing makes it even less watchable. Aeon Flux is made up as it goes. Very little in previous scenes establishes or shapes what comes next. No tension builds because it's damn near impossible to understand what's at stake. There is almost no emphasis on a timeline that gives action any urgency, either. Just, "the characters go here and see some cool shit, then they go there and get in a fight and see some more cool, shit. Then there's this other fight, and Theron uses some cool spy shit, but only once, and not later when it would be equally convenient." Characters are sent on missions more to show off some mediocre location than to

Still, I wouldn't call Aeon Flux lazy so much as it is incompetent, like everyone involved was in way over their heads. And I guess that's better in moviemaking than in engineering or surgery. Fuck, if this thing were the operating room, someone would have a hand sewed onto his face. If it were engineering, the top three floors of a Holiday Inn would be filled with sewage. But, it's just a movie, so nobody lost anything except the audience losing nine bucks a pop. And the makers might get rewarded for that.

The movie looks as cheap as a ring from the TG&Y, and it uses "found" locations that some location scout emerging from a thirty-year coma thought looked really futuristic. I guess it's mostly Berlin, but it looks like Berlin circa 1980, all lifeless, concrete, and crummy. There is one scene where Theron tries to break into something that looks exactly like Montreal's Olympic Stadium. Fuck, the last time someone actually wanted to get in there was 1981, before the baseball strike. The special effects are as low-grade as anything you'll find in a small-state film school, and the indoor sets are generic futuristic claptrap like labyrinths, white labs with beakers full of bright fluids, and kookie 70s Italian furniture.

At first, director Karyn Kusama goes overboard with the silly little gadgets, like phones built into ears and marbles that come when called, and then explode. But it's all Sharper Image shit, things that look cool but make no sense: Yeah, the toaster has great speakers, but all I want is fucking toast. Kusama seems to get tired of all the fancy gewgaws by the end, though, so she falls back on a good old-fashioned gunfight.

Actually, it's not good at all. None of the action is. It's sloppy, confusing and built like a 1986 Hyundai Excel: made completely from borrowed parts. A little Matrix here, a little Die Hard there. Although, maybe I'm giving Aeon Flux too much credit. It's actually ripping off the worst of the Matrix and Die Hard rip-offs like Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever.

At least the action has more life than the dialog, though, which is all said with a flatness and disinterest that is supposed to sound cool. It's like the eulogies at a funeral for someone nobody liked. Hell, maybe Theron and Csokas can speak at mine some day. I don't think any dialog scene was shot more than once, unless Kusama stopped the actors and said, "Let's try it again with less feeling." The words said are so ponderous. Every damn line is supposed to be profound, but only in the most superficial way, like the saying on coffee mugs about seizing the day or choosing your own path, Sexy Senior Citizen, blah blah blah.

Theron is as hard to watch as blood dripping from a hangnail. She want to be cool and tough and fails as badly as the kid who came to my apartment for Halloween dressed as a pink Darth Vader. She's a secret spy who is supposed to be inconspicuous, but can't resist wearing the most outrageous outfit in any room she enters. Black in white rooms, white in black rooms. It's a case where the costume designer had more control than the director. And the costume director was a retarded ape.

Csokas looks like a marginally more handsome Kevin Spacey. We are supposed to believe he is caring and benevolent, but then why the fuck has he plastered his picture everywhere like he's Saddam Hussein? I mean, when was the last time you heard of a benevolent leader getting off on building-sized murals of himself on every corner? Once again, misguided design over common sense.

Aeon Flux is bad, bad like a cold or herpes, bad in a way you could avoid if you tried. And you should, because this One Finger shitfest sucks ass.

Help Filthy || Want to tell Filthy Something?



Taryn Brill of Moviefone

Stay "really makes you question your perception of reality!"

Yeah, right. Although, it's a pretty good idea to trust Moviefone. they hardly have an interest in selling tickets to crappymovies.

Filthy's Reading
Graham Greene- Stamboul Train

Listening to
Smog - A River Ain't Too Much to Love


King Kong