Karyn Kusama can’t direct action, which hurts Aeon Flux a little bit, but she also can’t keep up the pace of her film. It should be a literal roller coaster–there’s some establishing material, which is nonsense, then the film drops Charlize Theron (as the titular character) in a mission. The mission runs the length of the film.
The film’s constantly stopping and starting. Instead of being a problem, Flux‘s pacing is one of its strongest elements. Well, until the third act.
Really awful narration opens and closes Flux. It’s like no one realized the film actually has a lot of good things about it. Kusama has zero confidence as a director.
In the lead role, Theron’s excellent most of the time. When she’s walking around the cheap sets or acting in front of a blue screen, not so much. The budget apparently didn’t go towards competent CG renderers. But she’s believable and sympathetic, even if Kusama can’t direct her fight scenes.
Marton Csokas’s excellent as the bad guy–and Theron’s love interest. Also good is Sophie Okonedo as her sidekick.
Both Jonny Lee Miller and Frances McDormand are awful.
When he’s not shooting CG, Stuart Dryburgh’s photography is good. Graeme Revell’s score has its moments.
Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi’s script is terribly affected in the dialogue department. But they get a lot of credit for laying groundwork on their revelation moments.
While it could’ve been far better, Flux is reasonably compelling. If one ignores the terrible opening narration.
Directed by Karyn Kusama; screenplay by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, based the television series created by Peter Chung; director of photography, Stuart Dryburgh; edited by Jeff Gullo, Peter Honness and Plummy Tucker; music by Graeme Revell; production designer, Andrew McAlpine; produced by David Gale, Gregory Goodman, Martin Griffin, Gale Anne Hurd and Gary Lucchesi; released by Paramount Pictures.
Starring Charlize Theron (Aeon Flux), Marton Csokas (Trevor Goodchild), Jonny Lee Miller (Oren Goodchild), Sophie Okonedo (Sithandra), Frances McDormand (Handler), Amelia Warner (Una Flux), Caroline Chikezie (Freya), Nikolai Kinski (Claudius) and Pete Postlethwaite (Keeper).