Cinema

For more movie summaries, see Kam's Kapsules.

(Photo by Digital Domain. 2005 Paramount Pictures, all rights reserved.)

STEALTHILY INFILTRATING THE ENEMY'S LINES: After government agents murder her sister, Aeon Flux (Charlize Theron), a highly trained soldier, promises to avenge her death and is attempting to secretly breach their defenses in order to assasinate the dictator Trevor Goodchild (played by Narton Csokas).

Aeon Flux: Charlize Theron Is an Assassin in a Futuristic, Female Empowerment Film

Movie Review by Kam Williams

According to conventional cinematic wisdom, when a studio doesn't invite critics to screen their film in advance of its theatrical release it's a tip-off that the picture is a turkey. However, Aeon Flux, a live-action version of the short-lived MTV animated series of the same name, is an exception because its plotline is more engaging than that of your average futuristic adventure.

The original series, inspired by Japanese anime, revolved around the surreal exploits of an amoral assassin whose motives were never explained. Curiously, the secret agent perished at the end of every television episode.

The movie, loosely based on the MTV series, is Karyn Kusama's second film. Her first movie, Girlfight, was also a female empowerment film. Oscar-winner Charlize Theron (Monster) does a decent job as an action heroine, even though she sustained a trampoline injury on the set in Berlin in August of 2004.

This 25th century morality play takes place in the antiseptic city of Bregna, a walled utopia which contains what is left of humanity after a virus had eliminated 99 percent of the world's population four hundred years earlier. The nearly catatonic citizens of Bregna abide by the dictates of Trevor Goodchild (Narton Csokas), a benevolent despot with an iron fist who rules with the aid of an all-seeing robot "eye" which floats over the city.

However, a band of insurgents, led by Handler (Frances McDormand), question whether Trevor really has Bregna's citizens best interests at heart. Aeon is assigned to murder Trevor with the assistance of Sithandra (Sophie Okonedo), a robot that is programmed to be an assassin.

The sparse, angular, modernistic architecture in Bregna provides a visually stimulating experience from start to finish. The film's implausible cautionary tale has enough surprises to keep you engaged throughout.

Science-fiction devotees may note that this description sounds a lot like that of The Island, last summer's blockbuster from Michael Bay, however, this movie's twists and turns are unique, thought provoking, and satisfying.

Very Good (3 stars). PG-13 for sexuality and violence. Running time: 95 minutes. Distributor: Paramount Pictures.

For more movie summaries, see Kam's Kapsules.

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