Theron takes on cartoon assassin role in ‘Aeon Flux’ |

Theron takes on cartoon assassin role in ‘Aeon Flux’

Howie Nave

When government agents murder her family, Aeon Flux (Charlize Theron) swears revenge in "Aeon Flux."

OK, so Charlize Theron proved that she could take on dramatic roles and was awarded the Oscar for 2003’s “Monster.” Hard to believe that was Charlize under all that that dirty makeup. Creepy-looking teeth, too. She was just plain ugly, wasn’t she?

There’s already been Oscar talk once again for her portrayal as Josey Aimes in this year’s “North Country.” She did a phenomenal job in that character, and a nomination in the Best Actress category is a shoo-in.

Isn’t it time Theron did a movie where she’s a hot babe again? I mean, c’mon. Word must have gotten out, because she’s back in black in a complete role reversal this time around. And, yes, she’s very hot – proving that even serious actors can have a little fun and take on a project that one wouldn’t expect of them.

The setting of “Aeon Flux” is 400 years in the future. During the 25th century, the human population has been eradicated by a devastating virus, except for a small percentage of those who miraculously survived. They’re protected by a walled-in city called Bregna. The “state” is ruled by a congress of scientists who call the shots. It’s no coincidence that the scientists have survived, but at what price?

The city is a virtual paradise but within these walls of utopia something is amiss. That’s where Aeon Flux (Theron) enters, as top operative and secret weapon bar none. She’s a spy and master assassin in the underground “Monican” rebellion led by The Handler, played by another Oscar winner, Frances McDormand. Aeon’s mission is to kill a government official, but she uncovers more than she is assigned to. That’s when the movie kicks into high gear. Well, things heat up just seeing Chalize in a black, skintight outfit. Move over, Catwoman.

The movie won’t win any Oscar nods for Theron and/or McDormand, but who cares? Seeing McDormand in her role, you kind of get the feeling that she was having a blast. It’s also kind of ironic, seeing both former Oscar winners now having a little fun for themselves in this comic book romp. And some romp! Charlize Theron has got to be the best-looking character based on a comic book or television series in a long time. In fact, Theron looks far better than the TV series’ “Aeon Flux,” hands down. Expect a sequel and more video games with Theron’s likeness everywhere.

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Let’s not kid around, though. “Aeon Flux” is a violent picture at times, and she handles herself as well as Uma Thurman’s pissed-off bride character in Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” flicks. And just like Uma in that movie, Charlize opted to do many of her own stunts for this movie. No drama queen here. She kicks butt and then some. Many actors, whenever possible, have been electing to do their own stunts, much to the chagrin of the studio execs, who have a huge investment in the movie with a high premium on the insurance for the principle players that must be guaranteed before shooting even starts.

For her to get into top shape with the right amount of agility, Charlize went through three solid months of intensive physical acrobatic training, in order to perform the flips, jumps and twirls that appear on the screen. Her trainer was Cirque du Soleil’s Terry Bartlett. Can’t get much better than that.

While “Aeon Flux” isn’t for everyone, the movie is a cool sci-fi flick that shows a future that isn’t optimistic. Come to think of it, most movies that deal with the near or distant future have been gloom-and-doom affairs – from “Blade Runner,” the “Mad Max” movies or “Escape from L.A.” Better to live in the “now” and enjoy it while you can.

– Howie Nave is host/manager of The Improv Comedy Club inside Harveys and reviews films for seven radio stations throughout northern California and Nevada. He co-hosts the morning show on Tahoe’s KRLT radio and you can see his film reviews every Friday morning on KOLO ABC TV Channel 8 and weekends on KMTN television here in South Lake Tahoe.