Æon Flux (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Karyn Kusama|
|Produced by||David Gale
Gale Anne Hurd
|Written by||Phil Hay
Jonny Lee Miller
|Music by||Graeme Revell|
|Editing by||Peter Honess
Valhalla Motion Pictures
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Running time||93 minutes|
Æon Flux is a 2005 science fiction action film directed by Karyn Kusama. The film is a loose adaptation of the animated science fiction television series of the same name, which was created by animator Peter Chung (who had a minor role in this film version of his work) and stars Charlize Theron as the title character. The film was released on December 2, 2005, by Paramount Pictures.
In 2415, after a virus in 2011 wiped out 99% of the Earth's population, all of the survivors inhabit Bregna, a walled city-state, which is ruled by a congress of scientists. Although Bregna is idyllic, people are routinely disappearing and everyone is suffering from bad dreams. Æon Flux is a member of the 'Monicans', an underground rebel organization who communicate through telepathy-enabling technology and are led by The Handler. After a mission to destroy a surveillance station, Æon comes home to find her sister Una has been killed for being mistaken for a Monican. When Æon is sent on a mission to kill the government's leader, Trevor Goodchild, she discovers that both she and the Monicans are being manipulated by council members in a secret coup.
This discovery causes Æon to question the origins of everyone in Bregna; and in particular, her own personal connection to Trevor. It turns out that everyone in Bregna is actually a clone, grown from recycled DNA. With the dead constantly being reborn into new individuals and still bearing partial memories of their previous lives, there has been an increase in the troubling dreams. Recycling and cloning became necessary because the original viral antidote made humans infertile. Trevor's ongoing experiments, as with all his clone ancestors, were attempts at reversing the infertility. Æon learns also that she is a clone of the original Trevor's wife, Katherine and is the first Katherine clone in over 400 years.
One of Trevor's experiments, Una, was successful as she had become pregnant. However, Trevor's brother, Oren Goodchild, had her and the other members of the experiment's control group killed, as well as ordering all of Trevor's research to be destroyed so he could stay in power. In a confrontation with Trevor and Æon, Oren reveals that nature itself had corrected the infertility problem and that some women were becoming naturally pregnant. Oren had them all killed to maintain the Goodchild reign. Æon is now forced to go up against both her former allies, who want to kill Trevor, and Oren.
She manages to convince the other Monicans to ignore The Handler and help her instead to kill Oren and his men. Æon goes to destroy the facility where the cloning DNA is stored - The Relicle, a dirigible constantly floating in the sky. There she meets the old man who monitors everything. She also discovers he preserved her DNA for years, even though Oren ordered it to be destroyed so Katherine could not influence Trevor in any way. The dirigible crashes into the city wall breaking it down to reveal, for the first time in centuries, a lush and fertile land as opposed to the wasteland they were taught about.
- Charlize Theron as Æon Flux
- Marton Csokas as Trevor Goodchild
- Jonny Lee Miller as Oren Goodchild
- Sophie Okonedo as Sithandra
- Frances McDormand as Handler
- Pete Postlethwaite as Keeper
- Amelia Warner as Una Flux
- Ralph Herforth as Gardenar
- Caroline Chikezie as Freya
- Nikolai Kinski as Claudius
- Paterson Joseph as Giroux
- Yangzom Brauen as Inari
The screenplay was written by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, and directed by Karyn Kusama. The character of Æon Flux was played by Oscar-winner Charlize Theron. This film was produced by MTV Films. It is unusual for an MTV Films production in that it is an action film.
In the early stages of production, actress Michelle Rodriguez was considered for the part of Æon. This was perhaps due to her previous partnership with director Kusama in Girlfight.
Karyn Kusama had originally suggested filming in Brasília, Brazil, because the architecture of that city fit with her vision of Bregna. The idea was rejected because Brasília lacked the infrastructure and technical expertise to facilitate a major film production. After scouting several cities around the world, Berlin and Potsdam in Germany were chosen as the location for filming. Berlin had several locations that fit into the organic yet structured world of Æon Flux. The crew was able to gain access to several locations that had never allowed filming before including the Treptow Crematorium, the Adlershof Trudelturm and Windkanal wind tunnel facility as well as the Haus der Kulturen der Welt ("House of the World's Cultures"). Additional locations include the Bauhaus Archive and the handler space, a dissection theatre built in 1790 to train veterinarians, set in the Berlin animal shelter.
Filming was temporarily suspended for a month during September 2004 while Theron recovered from a neck injury she suffered during stunt-work on the tenth day of shooting while performing a back handspring. She was hospitalized in Berlin for five days and it took about six weeks of physiotherapy to recover.
Box office 
Paramount Pictures chose not to screen Æon Flux for critics prior to its release. The film opened at No. 2 at the U.S. Box office making $12,661,112 USD in its opening weekend, held off the top spot by Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Aeon Flux suffered a decline of 63.97% in box office earnings, going down to No. 6 the following week. On February 9, 2006, it completed its theatrical run, grossing a domestic take of $25,874,337 and a worldwide box office total of $52,304,001, failing to recoup its $62 million budget.
Critical reception 
The critical reception was mainly negative. The film holds a 10% 'rotten' rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus stating "Aeon Flux lacks the gravity-defying pace of its animated predecessor, and, despite some flash, is largely a dull affair." With a score of 36 out of 100, the film's reception is rated 'Generally unfavorable' on Metacritic.
Although Peter Chung was initially optimistic about the film and was impressed with the sets upon visiting the production, he ultimately described it as "a travesty," adding: "I was unhappy when I read the script four years ago; seeing it projected larger than life in a crowded theatre made me feel helpless, humiliated, and sad. ...[The movie's creators] claim to love the original version; yet they do not extend that faith to their audience. No, they will soften it for the public, which isn't hip enough to appreciate the raw, pure, unadulterated source like they do." Chung has described his primary objection to the film as being its portrayal of the Æon and Trevor characters and their re-imagined history and relationship. He has gone so far as to state, "Ms. Flux does not actually appear in the movie."
Screenwriters Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi asserted in an interview that the film was re-cut by the studio prior to release and that original director's cut contains nearly 30 minutes of additional footage, which Chung acknowledged in his criticism of the film.
|Æon Flux - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Film score by Graeme Revell|
April 13, 2010
|Æon Flux - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|8.||"The Relical And Keeper"||4:22|
|12.||"The Cherry Orchard"||3:51|
|13.||"Oren Goodchild Dies"||3:42|
|14.||"Destroying The Memories"||4:04|
Comic book prequel 
In late 2005, Dark Horse Comics published a four-issue comic book limited series tying in with the movie. The storyline serves as a prequel to the film and is a mixture of Peter Chung's original TV series designs and characters combined with the setting and story elements of the movie. (There are some alterations: the comic book version of Æon only loosely resembles Theron, while her colleague Sithandra, played by a black actress in the film, is depicted as a caucasian in the comic book). The first issue sets up Æon Flux's mission for the miniseries: sabotage the Bregnan government's plan to destroy the forest outside of Bregna's walls. The last two issues of the limited series were published after the film had been released, and by the time the final issue came out, the film had already ended its run in most areas. Dark Horse has not announced if any further Æon Flux-based comics will be published.
Video game 
Home media 
Æon Flux was released on DVD on April 25, 2006. As of July 16, 2006, the DVD has grossed $31.80 million in rental sales.
- Æon Flux DVD, The Locations of Æon Flux featurette.
- "Box Office Mojo - Theatrical information.". Retrieved 2008-07-09.
- Æon Flux reviews Rotten Tomatoes
- Æon Flux reviews Metacritic
- Described in Gale Anne Hurd's DVD commentary at 1:06:49
- Peter Chung Interview - LiveJournal
- Interview with Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi - DVDFile.com
- "Box Office Mojo - DVD and home video sales.". Retrieved 2006-06-28.
- Official website
- Æon Flux at the Internet Movie Database
- Æon Flux at AllRovi
- Æon Flux at Box Office Mojo
- Æon Flux at Rotten Tomatoes