Friday, December 02, 2005

MEANWHILE AT THE MOVIES... Fluxed up! (AEON FLUX reviewed)

Aeon Flux was out today.
Went to see it, more on that in a bit...
It's no secret that the original Aeon Flux animated shorts, the subsequent series, and the creative vision of Peter Chung are one of the single biggest influences or inspirations for me creatively.
Not only was everything about the animation infused with originality, but the themes, balls out action, and imaginative turns the cartoon took knew no bounds. Aeon Flux was everything that graphic storytelling could be. Plus it was truly groundbreaking.

Now, tune in 10 or so years later and Flux is turned into a major Hollywood film. Live action. If ever there was a property that could have cashed in on mainstream awareness via a mature feature animation, Flux had to be a frontrunner. So that's too bad. Not to mention, everything that made the property great was the freedom the animation thrived on. But hey, I love the property, so I'll take just about any iteration of it and be happy. It's languished too long. Sure Chung has done some short and serial animation since, notably a spot on The Animatrix, the imaginative Alexander series, and a lackluster Riddick tie-in, but he hasn't touched his hallmark creation. Turns out his involvement with the film was pretty negligible, so that's two strikes against it. But Theron in the title role meant at least the acting would be solid.

So, back to the film, was it any good?
Or the better question, was it Aeon Flux?
Well, no, and no.
The concepts, and spirit, and glimpses of character that were Aeon Flux, in the film, were good, but ultimately I'd say Aeon Flux the movie is BASED on Aeon Flux the cartoon, at best.
They've really done so much wrangling and disposing of the animation's elements that the film is a very different property. And how could it not be? Aeon Flux was never meant to be a live action movie, and it shows.
See it, if you want to be entertained, mildly. See it if you like the core theme of a bad ass chick in black, trying to flip from set piece to set piece, but mostly just crouch here and there, with big elliptical shapes in the background. But don't see it if you have any hope of it capturing the magic that was Aeon Flux, the animation, the Peter Chung creation.
At least we have the deluxe DVD release of the series now that there was a movie finally released!

No comments: