Aeon Flux

Starring: Charlize Theron, Marton Csokaz, Jonny Lee Miller, Sophie Okonedo and Pete Postlethwaite
Paramount Home Entertainment
RRP: 19.99
Certificate: 15
Available 22 May 2006

400 years in the future, after a virus destroys the world population, only one city on Earth remains, Bregna. Ruled by the Goodchild dynasty, it is a perfect society of peace and prosperity. Or so it seems. In her mission to uncover why Bregna is subject to frequent mysterious disappearances of its citizens Aeon Flux, a secret agent and assassin, discovers some shocking secrets that jeopardises her mission - and her life...

Aeon Flux was originally the brainchild of creator and director Peter Chung. In fact, if you've never seen the groundbreaking MTV animated show, then I strongly suggest you pick up a copy of the three disc box set of Aeon Flux: The Complete Animated Series Box Set which was released earlier this year (2006). This way you can truly appreciate the origins of the characters and how different they are to the movie version.

The opening to this movie pays homage to the animated series, with a live action reworking of the famous fly/eyelash image. And there are a number of other scenes lifted from the animated series - including the segment where Aeon and Sithandra are racing across the booby-trapped ground towards the Goodchild building - only this time with small poisonous darts instead of lasers.

I have to admit to being quite a fan of Chung's original series, and I was incredibly apprehensive of what Hollywood would do to his creation - something he personally was not overjoyed about when I interviewed him.

As Hollywood blockbusters go, Aeon Flux is not half bad. The story line is entertaining, the photography is beautiful and there is no appalling acting anywhere in sight. Die-hard fans may not be impressed that Aeon's been given a back story and a family but I think, on reflection, that this works on a certain level. The twist is unexpected and not your usual blockbuster affair at all.

Pete Postlethwaite turns in a brief, although satisfying cameo as the Keeper and it was a shame that we didn't get to see a little more of Sophie Okonedo's Sithandra in action.

Extras include a commentary with Theron and producer Gale Anne Hurd; a commentary with Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, co-screenwriters; Creating a World (21 min featurette); The Locations of Aeon Flux (15 min featurette); The Stunts of Aeon Flux (9 min featurette); The Costume Design Workshop of Aeon Flux (14 min featurette); The Craft of the Set Photographer on Aeon Flux (4 min featurette); and Theatrical Trailer.

To be honest, you can't really ask for anything more from a single disc release. All of the features are interesting, if you want to see what went on behind the scenes.

This is nowhere near the disaster it could have been and to be honest I'm wracking my brain trying to work out how Chung's series could have been turned into a self contained film. And, until Chung gets the green light to direct his own animated Aeon Flux movie, something he is pushing for as I write this review, this blockbuster movie will certainly whet your appetite.

Darren Rea

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