Wednesday, February 01, 2006

UNDERWORLD: EVOLUTION & AEON FLUX - when hot chicks in PVC jump-suits aren't enough

There's not a whole lot I want to say about these two movies, both of which are derivative, feature ch*cks in rubber suits, have confused narratives, banal dialogue and zero characterisation.

If your taste runs to vampires, werewolves and British character actors camping it up, you should opt for UNDERWORLD: EVOLUTION. Bill Nighy does a hammy five minutes at the start; Derek Jacobi embarasses himself for five minutes near the end; the baddie is a Scottish actor called Tony Curran who was a minor character in the cult British TV drama, This Life; and these are the *good* points. Oh yes, and we get Brit Kate Beckinsale running around in a PVC suit, directed by her husband Len Wiseman, who obviously has a penchant for this sort of thing. He also directs one of the most cringe-inducing sex scenes since Shopgirl. But, hey, what do I know? This movie topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic, and took more money than analysts expected. I guess that means we'll get Underworld 3 - at least I assume that is narratively possible because I was so freakin' bored I left ten minutes before the end. Still, I doubt narrative incoherence would prevent Wiseman for committing another crime against cinema if there were enough phat cash in it.

On the other hand, if your taste runs to science fiction flicks like THE MATRIX, you could submit yourself to AEON FLUX - a shameless Hollywood cash-in starring Charlize Theron in, oh yes, a PVC suit. In a distopian future, the last city on earth is Berlin and it is run by a nasty Big Brother type. Aeon Flux - ridiculous name, I know, but then what isn't in this movie? - is part of a highly trained, ruthless efficient, Spanish inquisition, sorry, insurgency. She runs around blowing shit up, doing cool stunts and uttering what are meant to be witty one liners. Clearly, the screenwriter thought "amateurs" was going to be the new "I'll be back". AEON FLUX suffers in comparison to UNDERWORLD 2 for the lack of overtly camp acting, although Frances McDormand does have a totally bizarre hair-do that elicits a few chuckles on first appearance. Still, that is scant reward for handing over your twelve squid on a Friday night. The only hope is that, as AEON FLUX lost money in the US, a sequel is not on the cards.

UNDERWOLRD EVOLUTION is on release in the UK, US and France and goes on release in Germany on the 2nd March 2006. AEON FLUX is already on release in the US. It goes on release in Austria on the 3rd February, in France on the 8th February, in Germany on the 16th February and in the UK on the 17th February.


  1. The end of Underworld hinted at a 3rd movie, maybe. One of those endings ya know?

  2. Aeon Flux was definitely more fun. Think of it as canon-mounted war elephants in Medieval II. Logically ridiculous but a lot of fun to blow shit up with.

  3. I was bored shitless too during Underworld: Evolution. When the good comrade next to me (naming no names) forbade me from continuing to send of receive texts, the whole thing got terminal! :) I hope they make a sequel, and I hope it bombs.

  4. Well, as much as I hated Underworld, after North Country, I feel it at least had its feminist kick-ass heart in the right place. As for texting in a theatre - that shit messes with my peripheral vision - sorry :-)