[Screen It]

(2005) (Charlize Theron, Martin Csokas) (PG-13)

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Sci-fi: When a covert operative is sent to assassinate a government leader of the future, she uncovers disturbing secrets about her society's supposedly perfect state.
It's the year 2415, and more than 400 years after a virus killed off nearly everyone on the planet, one vestige of civilization has managed to flourish in the self-contained and walled city of Bregna. Run by Trevor Goodchild (MARTON CSOKAS) and his advisory council that includes his younger brother Oren (JONNY LEE MILLER), the city-state seems idyllic, but unrest is underfoot.

And that comes in the form of an underground band of rebels deemed the Monicans by the government that desperately wants to quell any sort of uprising. That's led to people simply vanishing from the city never to be heard from again, prompting the rebellion's leader, The Handler (FRANCES MCDORMAND), to send her operatives into the highly protected, labyrinth-like headquarters to assassinate Trevor.

Her best assassin, Aeon Flux (CHARLIZE THERON), who manages to sneak in with Sithandra (SOPHIE OKONEDO), has a personal ax to grind with the leader since her sister, Una (AMELIA WARNER) was murdered by government agents despite having nothing to do with the rebellion. Yet, Aeon can't manage to complete the job as she experiences a range of emotions and fractured memories that cloud her judgment upon meeting the leader.

After she's captured, Trevor doesn't have her killed, thus raising the suspicions of Oren and the other council members who soon plot a coup against him. As Aeon tries to figure out what's going on, she must not only contend with Trevor and his powerful assistant Freya (CAROLINE CHIKEZIE), but also Oren and his crew as well as Sithandra who's been ordered along with others by The Handler to take out the operative who they believe has failed her mission.

OUR TAKE: 2 out of 10
Paramount Pictures did not screen this film in advance for reviewers before it opened. Thus, we're still working on our artistic review of this offering that's based on the animated series of the same name that aired on MTV back in the '90s.

We can tell you, however, that it's pretty lousy despite having a good, if relatively inexperienced director at the helm and a number of notable and award-winning performers appearing in front of the camera. In short, it's a lame version of this summer's "The Island," a film that may have stumbled with the recycled sci-fi material, but at least had a director who knew his way around action sequences.

That's not the case here, where the director of "Girlfight" seems way over her head in terms of scope, production and storytelling. Lead actress Charlize Theron seems bored and unable to bring anything notable out of her character, while supporting performers such as Frances McDormand and Pete Postlewaite are probably trying to remember why they signed on the bottom line for this boring, unconvincing and flat sci-fi flick. More to come soon, but you probably get the gist of how we feel about this film.

Reviewed December 2, 2005 / Posted December 2, 2005

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