Whilst I’m sure that a large number of people will be drawn to see this film by the presence of Charlize Theron in an array of skimpy and skin-tight outfits, as a sophisticated and knowledgeable type, my interest stemmed from an appreciation of the original animated short features. As bizarre in terms of story as they were in unusual in appearance, the second series suffered somewhat from the absence of creator Peter Chung, but was nonetheless still interesting.
Chung doesn’t seem to have had much of a hand in the live-action version, which sets up Flux as an acrobatically-skilled assassin fighting against an oppressive future regime. So far, so standard, but after about 40 minutes, things start unravelling, the status quo proves not to be what either side had really believed it to be, and the film reveals some story ideas which are arguably more interesting than you’d necessarily expect.
However, the film felt like a lot of it was missing, perhaps trimmed to get it down to a multiplex-friendly 90-odd minutes, and I was reminded of the film Event Horizon, where a lot of the plot appeared to be either taking place off-screen or in expository dialogue. This throws the plotting somewhat, and leads to the feeling that certain of the plot holes would have been patched up if the whole film had been up there on the screen.
The performances are all perfectly fine, and the stunts and special effects are pretty good, but there’s a lurking feeling that even though the film’s better than you might have expected, there’s nonetheless a slightly more interesting film lying beneath the surface.
Overall, then, a perfectly serviceable film, and a smidgin above the level I anticipated, though not as interesting as the original cartoons. Still, if you’re going to see it with the more limited expectation that it’ll feature Ms Theron in various states of limited dress and undress, you’ll probably feel you’ve got your money’s worth. I know I certainly did.
Damn. I nearly got away with that, didn’t I? Ah well.