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  • Canister X Movie Review #105: Aeon Flux (2005)

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    Aeon Flux (2005)
    Written by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi
    Directed by Karyn Kusama
    Runtime 93 min.
    4 out of 5

    In the early twenty-first century, a deadly virus wiped out 99% of the Earth’s population. Now, four hundred years later, all of humanity lives in a walled-in city named Bregna and are led and monitored by a group of scientists. But not all are happy with this arrangement and a rebel group called Monicans have risen to oppose those in charge.

    And Aeon is one of them.

    At first glance, the main story of this movie is like many others that have come before it: a small band of rebels going up against an oppressive government. But this movie isn’t that simple and the aforementioned plot is just what gets us from Point A to B. There are other factors that play into the story, complicated ones, taking what could have just been a B-sci-fi movie all the way to A-level.

    Charlize Theron stars as Aeon, the Monicans’s cold, stick-to-business top assassin. The intensity she brings to the role drags you in and makes you want to discover what makes her tick. Yet she also has a warm side, but one hidden and numbed by years of training and running top secret errands for her team. Theron put on a wonderful show in the lead.

    The supporting cast, though they all did a good job and their characters were believable, were just that: a supporting cast. No one’s performance really stood out except maybe Sophie Okonedo as Sithandra (the girl with the hands for feet). She was just plain cold (in that good way).

    The special effects are astonishing. There is not a single element in this film that is “everyday.” Everything was built for it, whether physically or via CGI. The action is astounding, part Matrix and part Underworld.

    Action and sci-fi fans should really get into this movie.

  • Canister X Movie Review #29: Elektra (2005)

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    Elektra (2005)
    Written by Zak Penn, Stuart Zicherman and Raven Metzner
    Directed by Rob Bowman
    Runtime 97 min.
    2.5 out of 5

    After coming back from the dead and trained in the deadly art of Kimagure, Elektra Natchios is a killer-for-hire. Upon receiving her new contract, she goes up against a band of ninja assassins known as The Hand, who are also after the same target: a young martial arts prodigy with a potential for greatness. Elektra’s past meets her present as she seeks to protect this young prodigy while also facing demons of her own.


    I was in the minority of people who liked Daredevil, in which Jennifer Garner also played Elektra. When I heard she was getting her own spin-off movie, I was really excited because, while I’m not an expert on the Elektra character, I know enough to know that a film version would be awesome. We didn’t quite get that with this flick, but that’s not to say it was utterly terrible. However, what audiences expected and what they got were different things.

    Let’s see . . . I was happy that Elektra sported her famous red costume in this as opposed to the black one in Daredevil. Though technically totally impractical in real life, having her very-similar-to-comic-book-costume on screen was cool for fanboys and fangirls alike and, no, not for the reason you’d think. Just something about seeing a comic book character “as they are” on screen brings a thrill.

    The fighting sequences were not bad and Hollywood’s version/perception of the martial arts is always interesting as they tend to add all sorts of legend and mystique to them as opposed to their reality.

    They got the gist of the character but didn’t get hardcore into it, and it was clear this was just a way to cash in on the Daredevil movie that came out a couple years before. A solid story of Elektra’s assassin exploits—even if you want her to fight mercenaries with a similar agenda—would’ve been a great help, but this flick seemed more introspective and slower paced versus something that should’ve been geared toward the action-and-suspense genre (i.e. a high profile target, like a president or something, then have that person tie into Elektra’s mythology. Set her on the run while also giving her history and what it’s like to be someone who was supposed to be dead, some in-costume Daredevil universe cameos, and you’d have a solid story). Just ideas.

    In the end, if they ever went back and rebooted the character, I’d definitely check it out as the potential is there, but wasn’t fully exploited with this outing.