Charlize Theron apparently didn't heed any of the warnings left by Halle Berry's colossal failure Catwoman. Let's just say, if you're an Oscar-winning actress, you should just stay away from wearing black leather and wielding weapons of any kind.
It's been 400 years since a virus wiped out most of the planet. All that's remains is a small walled-in community of sorts, Bregna, run by the Goodchild Regime. Most of the citizens have no choice but to put up with their quasi-Totalitarianism. But Aeon Flux (Charlize Theron), a top operative of the underground Monican rebellion, has had enough and seeks revenge on the government she believes destroyed her life. At the behest of the Handler (Frances McDormand), who gives out the orders to the few do-gooders of Bregna, she aims to sabotage the Regime. Little does Aeon know, however, that there is already unrest within the Goodchild clan between brothers Trevor (Marton Csokas) and Oren (Jonny Lee Miller). When Aeon arrives to carry out her revenge, she unlocks a number of secrets and finds out who's really on her side.
There are a heap of objectionable themes in Aeon Flux, but the real shame is that these actors willingly took part in this film. Granted, Theron looks stunning, steely and sultry, all at once, but we thought her Monster Oscar would afford her more meaningful roles so her looks wouldn't be the focal point. Her acting is hard to gauge here because her stark beauty is accentuated. It's a step back for her, even if taking the role must have padded her wallet. McDormand--who was so good just months ago in North Country with Theron--looks like Tim Burton's twin sister in Flux, with her outlandish makeover. It is only slightly more ridiculous than the robot-like character she's supposed to be playing. And Sophie Okonedo, who plays Aeon's partner-in-crime, is worthy of praise, but after her Oscar-nominated performance in Hotel Rwanda, you have to wonder what made her do Flux.
Aeon Flux just might do in director Karyn Kusama, whose only other credit is the 2000 indie darling Girlfight. Most directors work a lifetime to get a big-budget monster like this, but unfortunately for Kusama, she can't quite carry the torch. The film looks like Tomb Raider's jealous younger sibling who still has much to learn. There's non-stop action in exotic locales, smoldering lead actress in skin-tight wardrobes, etc., but it leaves you feeling dizzy more than anything else, especially since the death-defying action is constantly cutting back and forth between Theron and her stunt double. And everything is only grossly accentuated by awful dialogue that sounds like a satire of an over-acted heavy drama. The film's set design is spectacularly elaborate and breathtaking, but it unfortunately can't redeem the rest of the film.
Hollywood.com rated this film 1 1/2 stars.