Movie Review: Aeon Flux

Expect nothing, and you’ll never be dissapointed?

So, what happens when you hear overwhelmingly bad reviews about a movie, but you decide to watch it anyway? Can you really objectively watch a movie and decide for yourself if it was good or bad? Are your expectations so low that no matter how bad it actually is, anything good in it will be a treat?

That was the situation that I found myself in when sitting down to watch Aeon Flux, starring Charlize Theron (North Country, The Italian Job) as the title character. This movie had received such bad reviews from so many of the movie critics that I listen to, that I was expecting it to be a disjointed and laughable movie that was big on effects and action, but shallow on plot. But what I found was a movie with an intriguing premise and a storyline that occasionally had me guessing and always held my interest.

Aeon Flux is set in a future time when the last city on Earth is ruled by the family of the person who developed the cure for the plague that wiped out the rest of the world’s population. Aeon is a member of a group of rebels called the Monicans who are trying to overthrow the government. Aeon is sent on a mission to assassinate the “chairman” of their ruling council, Trevor Goodchild, played by Martin Csokas (Kingdom of Heaven, The Bourne Supremacy), when she experiences some things that cause her to abandon her mission and seek out answers to the bigger mysteries of their community.

From what I’ve heard, this movie is based on an MTV animated series that I had never heard of before this came out. But while watching it, I could tell that it was following a very defined method of visual story telling, with many of the camera angles and scene compositions being very artistic and interesting to look at. I also noticed many instances of limited dialogue in this movie, which added to the visual artistry.

It seems to me that Director Karyn Kusama (Girlfight) really seemed to understand what this story was about, and seemed to be able to give it a cohesive feel to it throughout. I would imagine though, that this type of movie isn’t for everyone. As I said, it’s very stylized and could be seen as “artsy” or “weird” by many.

If I may digress, this is why movie reviewers sometimes frustrate me; to think that one person can give opinions on every movie out there and dictate which ones are good and which ones are bad. Really, movies are subjective. I’ve grown up watching movies like Logan’s Run, Planet of the Apes, Star Wars, Star Trek, and so on. A movie like Aeon Flux easily fit into those genres and I really enjoyed it. But I know many people who don’t like those movies that I just listed. And so I can tell you now that if you are one of them, you won’t like it.

All in all, I enjoyed this movie. Sure it had its flaws, but what movie doesn’t? I certainly don’t think that it deserved all of the negative press that it got and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys futuristic movies about dystopian societies.

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