Friday, September 24, 2010

Review: Aeon Flux (2005)

Director: Karyn Kusama
Starring: Charlize Theron, Martin Csokas, Jonny Lee Miller

Why are some people allowed to make movies? Can’t we have some kind of a test or a license needed to do it? Can’t we just make it so certain individuals just can’t make movies or put them out for the public to see? I know that seems…incredibly fascist and dictator-like, but really, in the interest of common decency, we should really consider it. I’m not naming any names though. No sir, I’m definitely not naming Karyn Kusama or her second film Aeon Flux.

I mean, man, this is a piece of shit. I haven’t seen a more wretched, unholy projection of vomit onto film in a long time; it might as well be called ‘Incompetence: The Motion Picture.’ I don’t even have to make many jokes about it; the jokes are made for me by the movie itself. Just look at the pictures here for proof. It’s just such an inept, horribly written movie on every level that the only way to improve it would be to go back in time and completely erase it from the historical canon, wiping it out without a trace. But unfortunately it exists, so why don’t we take a look at what makes Aeon Flux such a terrible mess:

Our movie starts off with some words over a black screen that are typed in the Arial font from Microsoft Word, like they couldn’t even be assed to get a better looking one, detailing the back story of the film. Apparently in 2011…weird year to choose…the world was overtaken by a deadly virus that kills off most of humanity until they are saved by a scientist named Goodchild, who then proceeded to completely take over the world for the next 400 years. But – wait for it – there are rebels fighting against him now. Gasp! Rebels fighting against an overbearing tyrannical government? Who would’ve guessed? That’s such a radical idea my puny brain can barely handle it. Never mind why it took 400 years for anyone to start fighting back. I guess they were just waiting for the right moment! That’s really great. No, seriously, why the hell is that rebel fighting treated like such a fucking surprise? You’re in a goddamn dystopian future, you bungholes; this kind of thing should be like an every-day occurrence to you!

We’re introduced to our main character named Aeon Flux, played by Charlize Theron, who wakes up right as a bug is caught in her eyelashes – why do I get the idea this small, disgusting annoyance is in some way symbolic of the movie? Anyway, she narrates some more about things that the opening already kind of established, saying that she is one of the rebels, who go by some name I can’t understand, so I won’t bother even putting it in this review. They’re just rebels. That’s all they need to be called. So she walks around the city as the only person wearing a black trench coat with a weird veil over her face, somehow not calling attention to herself even though she’s clearly not like everyone else. For a fascist government that has been around 400 years, they sure don’t recognize dissenters to their cause easily, do they?

Then this weird thing happens where she gets called in her mind to some kind of chamber where an old woman with red hair gives her orders…she says that she has to ‘blind’ the government so they can't track them or something, even though if they could be tracked I'm sure the government would have gotten rid of them by now, and so…I guess Flux does exactly that. It’s not even that big of a spectacle apparently, given how she seems to accomplish this in a relatively short amount of time. She just goes into this weird circular chamber with water dripping from the ceiling, kicks something in and then gets out of there. But apparently not fast enough for her sister to be killed off so quickly that we don’t even get to know anything about her.

This of course throws Aeon into despair, although you wouldn’t know it from her consistent monotone that makes it impossible to relate to her in any way. She sits around in her house…turns water from its colorless normal state to black for some reason…and then she gets sucked back into her own mind again. She’s told to cheer up by the red-headed lady again before this happens for no reason:

Seriously, what the hell is up with these visuals? They’re never explained, never make any sense and they just detract from the storytelli…oh, wait.

So now Aeon has to kill the leader of the city named Trevor. The only explanation given for why these rebels didn’t do this earlier is that they “didn’t have the information they needed.” No light is shed on what information this was, or why it took them this long to find it. We’re just supposed to believe that they’re only just NOW trying to kill this guy for the first time. Sure. Aeon meets up with her friend Sithandra, who…okay, I can’t even type it out without feeling stupid; just look:

She has hands where her feet should be. I can’t even believe you’re expecting me to take that seriously; hands where her feet should be. That’s so STUPID I can’t even handle it! Every scene she’s in, completely robbed of tension and seriousness. She says that it’s useful and that Aeon should consider having the operation too. Why the hell would you even want to have hands where your feet should be? I'm not even going to dignify this by going into the numerous impracticalities of it in every-day life; it just looks fucking ridiculous. Gah! It’s like something a drunk science fiction writer would make up while writing a satire of science fiction, not something that would be featured in any serious story. It’s totally ridiculous. "And then the girl with hands for feet picked up the gun with her foot and tossed it to her partner. Then she scratched the blister on her ankle with her other foot. Ooh!" Insert weed binge here. What’s next, a character with ears for hands? Maybe a guy with three noses? Why not, I ask you? Why the hell not? Ooh, in the realm of Aeon Flux, anything is possible! Anything at all! Oooooh! Ugh.

So…after that we get our two femme fatales doing cartwheels, jumping over shit and avoiding machines that shoot razor-sharp grass blades at them? Seriously, the grass hurts them now. I couldn’t even make this shit up if I tried. I guess doing the yard-work for this evil fortress is a real killer, huh? Aeon goes in alone, confronts Trevor, but for some reason can’t bring herself to attack. He knocks her out and locks her up in a glass prison, but that’s just a front for more special effects masturbation as she escapes:


I mean honestly. Is it that hard to make just a little bit of sense? I’ve never seen more pointless, self-indulgent and superfluous use of special effects. They’re not even trying! They’re just…throwing in whatever the hell they want, expecting us to buy it. It’s the biggest mind-rape ever, all these completely random CGI images thrown at us for no reason. They don’t even know what they’re doing. It’s like the work of a mentally retarded child trying to use a CGI animating process. It’s completely insipid.

Through a highly confusing and vague train of plot-attempts involving a drugged out sex scene and a tiny machine that makes a hole in the floor leading to a hidden library/scientific lab when you touch it the right way (…yeah), we get some more scraps of “story.” Basically what I think the film is trying to get across is that mankind has been infertile for the 400 years since the virus was cured, and that the only way they’ve been having children and reproducing is through cloning dead people and ‘reincarnating’ them into the wombs of women through some pill in their drinks or something. This is how Trevor and his brother, who is also part of the government, have been alive ever since.

…well that’s stupid. Nobody ever noticed this going on, what with how some very prominent and well known people kept being reincarnated? There was never any uncovering of any of this during that whole entire 400 year regime? That’s pushing it movie, it really is. Seriously, THIS IS AWFUL. I am actually literally embarrassed to sit here and watch this movie, even dignify it for one minute with my attention. It's such a stupid plot that I'm almost sure what happened was that they spent all their money making the eye-raping special effect wonders and then threw together a plot at the last second. Doesn't it just seem like that? The kind of...phoned-in, thrown-together mess of a plot that didn't even have a real writer so much as one of the studio janitor's high school science fiction stories written in Algebra class? It's just about as insufficient. TRY THINKING ABOUT IT MORE, YOU GIBBERING APES. I mean this is seriously the bottom of the barrel, people. The absolute in wretched fecal matter. I am in total awe.

Oh, and apparently Aeon is actually Trevor’s old lover reincarnated without full memory of it. Could the movie get any more clich├ęd and brainless? Well, the filmmakers asked themselves that question and they'll be damned if they didn't try! How about we have Aeon’s old rebel buddies turn on her because she didn’t kill Trevor and have that freak with hands for feet come to her personally and confront her, leading to a fight? How about a clumsy big battle scene with explosions and guns that finally leads to a cheery, happy ending where all the oppressed people look toward a brighter future? GOD, what a bad movie!

It’s especially hilarious how they actually try to shoehorn in a generic theme about how people have lost their humanity with the cloning stuff going on. Hah, that’s a laugh. Talking about humanity in a movie where the characters amount to little more than crayon drawings by a kindergartener; that is rich. These characters are so whitewashed of any kind of emotional texture that it’s practically a miracle of bad writing – try and name any distinguishing characteristic of any of these characters beyond ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ and I’ll forfeit this review and admit that I was wrong about this entire thing. Just try.

Nothing? Well, color me un-surprised. This movie is just awful. It’s one of those movies that makes you feel dirtier and dumber the longer you sit there and try to watch it. The storyline is ridiculous, the special effects are ludicrous and the movie as a whole is just one horrible pile of I-don't-want-to-know-what after another, with no reprieve until the credits start rolling. Aeon Flux sucks ass! There's nothing about this that is in any way redeeming and I'd rather eat a bag of nails than watch it again. Hey Karyn Kusama, want to make a good movie next time? Just don’t even try to tell a story. Put Charlize Theron in an even skimpier outfit and have her do cartwheels and show off her body for 90 minutes. That would at least be more entertaining than this. As it is, I would rather have that virus destroy humanity than have a future with this many plot holes! That would be good riddance.

That's more like it.