Aeon Flux is a character and series of shorts created by master animator and writer Peter Chung. The series held a five-minute spot on the last segment of Liquid Television, MTV's bizarre animated hodgepodge, for its two year duration.

In some cases, a full story would take place within those five minutes, but more often a serial narrative would continue between several episodes, making it very hard for the audience to catch on to the subtle nuances of the plots. Not until after two full-length video collections of the Aeon Flux segments were released did audiences really get a chance to fully absorb the depth of what goes on with the characters in these stories.

Aeon is a sexy and hardcore double agent, often fighting for her own (usually selfish) desires set against the backdrop of a constant, violent war between two colonies: Bregna and Monica. Monican agents are the rebels on the outside; Breen residents live as prisoners in a walled city-state controlled by a bizarre, twisted leader named Trevor Goodchild. Some Breens are arrogantly high-class and happy while most are desperate to escape. Attempts to cross between Bregna and Monica typically result in death or dismemberment.

Trevor himself is plagued by flights of fancy and rules sporadically with an oft-crazed, oft-bored demeanor. His subjects mean little more than guinea pigs for his own experiments in human behavior, and he is full of contradictions. He, like Aeon, is forever nursing some fantasy and the two of them share an erotic and strange lover-enemy relationship where mind games abound.

Each episode starts fresh with a new story either starring or somehow involving our dominatrix-styled heroine, and she often dies or fails. The peripheral characters all run deep and add so much to the realistic telling of and meaning behind every bizarre scenario.

Aeon Flux is one of the most intelligent, creative and deep animated series to come out of the early 90's. Part of this allure is its way of touching on an extremely wide array of both erotic fetishes and the varied tendencies of human nature. The narratives are erotic, ultra-violent, tragic, philisophical, smart, at times supernatural. Sadly, I believe the character and series was a few years before its time. After the too-short-lived era of Liquid Television came to an end, Aeon Flux ended with it. Despite talk of an animated series and the early stage development of an interactive CD-Rom game, all things Aeon Flux eventually fell by the wayside.

In the beginning seasons, Aeon Flux was simply a collection of animated shorts which generally featured a scantily clad female assasin named Aeon. You don't actually find that out (until later seasons), because the shorts are almost all completely without dialogue. And, as mentioned above, Aeon always dies somewhere in the short.

One of my favorites was one which didn't focus on Aeon the entire time, but instead was about two warring factions, one of which Aeon was a member. The story continually focused on one hero who would infiltrate the enemy base, killing hundreds of enemy soldiers effortlessly, and then just before reaching his goal, he'd be killed by some enemy soldier he didn't see. Then the story would focus around that soldier, who would become the new hero, infiltrate the enemy base, kill tons of dudes, and then get killed. It switched back and forth like that several times, and was one of the coolest cartoons I've ever seen.

Aeon Flux did have a short-lived miniseries..sort of. Back in the early 90's (93, 94, somewhere around there), there was an MTV show called MTV Oddities which at first, was 'The Head', a short miniseries-type thing about a guy with an alien living inside his head.

The second one was, yep, you guessed it, Aeon Flux. Although I'm not sure if it was the same as the shorts on Liquid Television, I don't remember seeing those on LT, but it lasted a while, before they went onto the third series for Oddities, which was called The Maxx, (never really watched that one, maybe once or twice, can't remember much about it).

Each show ran for a month or two before it was finished, then the next one came in. Aeon Flux was almost definitely the most popular of the shows though.
WOWEE WOW WOW.

Those of you who think Aeon Flux is just the hottest, coolest, most bad-ass babe ever, that Trevor Goodchild is the modern Iago, that the Demiurge may be controlling your thoughts and that a custodian is a thing that goes in your belly-button, be ready for disappointment. The movie... well... here are some examples.

The fantastic, unexplained love-hate relationship between Aeon and Trevor?

GONE.

The amoral, loveably cruel, sardonic, wonderfully wicked Aeon?

ELIMINATED, and replaced by a killer-with-a-heart-of-gold, cliché-spewing pansy.

Trevor's insane idealism?

SUBTLE, AT BEST.

Deep, thickly-layered plots, conveyed often without even the use of dialogue?

YOU MUST BE JOKING.

Aeon's anarchic tendencies?

BYE-BYE. Now she's a government spy. With a family. Who are all dead.

THE TAGLINE FROM THE SHOW WAS "I TAKE NO SIDE!!!!*" COME ON!



Okay, the rant is over. Visually, it's a good flick. If you've never seen the show, see the movie first. If you've seen the show, try not to think of the movie as even remotely based on it. Maybe you'll like it. Here are the credits (such as they are):

Charlize Theron...........Aeon Flux
Marton Csokas.............Trevor Goodchild
Jonny Lee Miller..........Oren Goodchild
Sophie Okonedo............Sithandra
Frances McDormand.........Handler
Pete Postlethwaite........Keeper
Amelia Warner.............Una Flux
Caroline Chikezie.........Freya
Nikolai Kinski............Claudius


Directed by Karyn Kusama. Written by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi.

NOTE: Peter Chung, who created Aeon Flux, had nothing to do with this movie, which should be a comfort to diehard fans.

My advice? Save your money. Skip the film, and maybe go buy the new animated Aeon Flux director's edition boxed set.
Actually, there were a couple of taglines. The other biggie is (when Trevor in voiceover says "you're skating the edge," Aeon replies: "I am the edge."

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