There's something about an adaptation of anything into another format that immediately lends itself to more scrutiny than it would naturally receive. This is certainly because of the fact that comparisons will be made between the adaptation and the original, be it a book, comic, TV series, etc. In the case of Aeon Flux, there was the "Aeon Flux" cartoon series to contend with, which, for what it was, was very intelligent and well-made, a dystopian future where a "1984"-like war existed eternally, neighboring states keeping up a continuous fight. This movie, of course, greatly diminishes that concept.
As a stand-alone film, Aeon Flux would have been an enjoyable enough movie, assuming it didn't bear the Aeon Flux name. But, as any form of adaptation, it was a miserable failure. The dystopian nature of the original and its neverending battle between equally faceless sides is lost entirely, instead choosing to make this film revolve around a concept of a last city on Earth, surrounded by primeval jungle, utopian in its goals but attacked from within by Monican terrorists/freedom fighters. The countries of Bregna and Monica, in the film, become the city and the freedom fighters and nothing more.
The plot is stupidly simplistic as Aeon attempts to invade and destroy the Bregnan patriarchal overlords, until she realizes things are awry and decides to take a new tack, putting herself between the two sides, both intent on her destruction.
It's said the original director's cut was 30 minutes longer before being hacked down by the studio, a cut that was apparently vastly superior. It would still be a travesty, given the lack of inclusion on all the source material's best elements. Peter Chung referred to feeling "helpless, humiliated and sad" while watching the film and I can relate. It was as if the few fond memories of my teenage years watching the show were pissed all over and stomped out. As an adaptation of "Aeon Flux", Ultraviolet did a better job.
It's no great help that Charlize Theron spends most of her time trying not to act, because she's busy trying to mimic the series' breathy and husky-voiced Aeon. Instead of being sexy, Theron comes off as a monotone charicature. She's better than this movie and I hope she knows it. I applaud her for being totally willing to get into something that's generally looked down on in Hollywood, but the result was unfortunate. Aeon she is not. Nor is anything in this movie.
This is not your father's Aeon and Trevor Goodchild. Shit, this isn't even a very well-made film. The show was a simple transition to screen and they blew it, losing the cool weirdness and blood-soaked gunfire for bloodless, boring action and a plot unfit for consumption.
If this weren't Aeon, it'd have a chance. As it stands, it just sullies the Flux name and makes it even more difficult to see anything more made by Peter Chung.