Karyn Kusama, the writer-director of GIRLFIGHT, the story of a tough female boxer, turns her attentions to a tough female superhero in AEON FLUX. Based on a series of animated shorts that aired on MTV, the live-action feature film version stars Charlize Theron, in jet black hair, as the secret agent of the title. Aeon Flux is a Monican who has been ordered to assassinate Trevor Goodchild (Martin Csokas), the leader of Bregna--a futuristic walled city that is the last vestige of humanity on 25th-century earth. But a long-buried memory prevents her from killing him, ultimately making both of them targets. As Trevor battles his brother, Oren (Jonny Lee Miller), for control of Bregna, Aeon seeks revenge for the murder of her sister (Amelia Warner) while also being hunted down by her former partner, Sithandra (Sophie Okonedo). At the center of it all is a secret that threatens to tear everything apart.
Theron, who performed most of her own stunts, glides through the film in barely-there outfits, while also jumping, running, slinking, diving, and cartwheeling her way through dangerous situations, recalling the gorgeous movements made by the animated version. The film alternates between stark gray-and-white sets and brilliant splashes of red, green, and yellow, adding a vibrancy that befits a cartoon adaptation. The taut script, by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi (who previously teamed up on CRAZY/BEAUTIFUL), delves deep into the relationships of siblings that often border between love and hate. Graeme Revell's smart score never overwhelms the action, which involves a lot of automatic weapons, and Oscar winner Frances McDormand and Oscar nominee Pete Postlethwaite feature in small roles.