Æon Flux (2005)

(In theaters, December 2005) The premise was iffy, the trailer was dull and the casting was unpromising. Small wonder Æon Flux only lives up to the most modest expectations. As SF, it’s pedestrian and wholly recycled from better films. As an action film, it sputters from one scene to another without much regard to plausibility or even excitement. It’s nearly perfect as a piece of cinematic dystopian-SF tofu, though: If all you’re asking is a B-grade film with kooky aesthetics (even though they clash unsuccessfully), this is pretty much it. Charlize Theron manages the neat trick of looking completely unattractive in tight black clothes. Meanwhile, the other actors seem to be befuddled by the wacky sets. A mishmash of dumb science (oh no; not another clones-have-memories subplot!), stupid mistakes (for the last time: a rifle can’t suddenly transform in a machine gun!) and outright indifference (a sister, you say?) cap off the rest of the experience. Aeon Flux doesn’t take a lot of time to reduce its audience to a seething mass of complete indifference: what follows is an almost unbearable wish to see the film end as soon as possible, as it predictably doesn’t. Expect to see it in the bargain bin in a matter of months.

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