Aeon Flux: Short Episodes: War
This short episode is one of the best sci fi cartoons EVER! Ok, it may not be the best ever, but it’s bloody good! As the title suggests, it’s about a war between the Breens and the Monicans. Since this is a short film, our darling Aeon Flux dies (fairly early on) but the film is full of action, gratuitous violence, a little sex and a poignant ending.
The show opens with an intensive gun battle between Aeon and some Breen soldiers. After a wonderful demonstration of sharp shooting and gymnastics, she kills them all (about a hundred) and we see her standing triumphantly over the piles of bodies.
She begins to walk towards a doorway when a wounded Breen soldier jumps on her and causes Aeon’s gun to fall out of reach. The soldier stands over the unarmed Aeon. He gently squeezes his trigger, but before the gun is fired, Aeon Flux notices another Monican soldier sneaking up behind. She tries to delay her execution by …. by…. erm…. well licking her lips in a VERY suggestive manner!
Now maybe I’m a bit old fashioned here, but if some woman (however gorgeous) had just shot the living daylights out of all my soldier buddies, the last thing I’d be, is turned on! Even if she made out that she was crazy enough to WANT to!
Anyway, all the effort is for naught, the soldier shoots the lovely murdering Aeon in the head and then turns to shoot the sneaky Monican behind him. He then takes off his helmet and surveys the carnage around him.
We too can see absolute devastation! There are no buildings in the scene, but there is a shitload of dead bodies! Sorry for the expletive but my goodness these bodies are piled high and the ground is red with blood, a striking contrast to the turquoise uniforms of the Breen soldiers.
If you look closely however, you can see a dead woman clutching a baby! You have to look closely and pause the video (yes I know – I’m a sad geezer remember) but, what a woman and a baby are doing in the middle of a battlefield beats the hell out of me!
As if slightly embarrassed by this, the animators change shot and we notice the surviving Breen soldier jump onto a wall. He stands there alone. The wall is the pinnacle of a steep gorge and moments later we see a hoard of Monican soldiers ascending the gorge on the attack. Coolly, the Breen stands there and waits until they are in range.
Then, only after the Monicans begin firing does he ‘let rip!’ This guy is a marksman of the first order. It looks like he simply waves his guns like magic wands and the advancing Monicans fall. There were a good two or three hundred and yet, the surviving Breen made very short work of them indeed.
With the battle almost won, the Breen soldier slides down a rope left by one of the attackers and slides down. Perfectly balanced he is able to aim and shoot the remaining Monicans who have the audacity to be still alive after such a display of super-human combat technique. In fact I’d go as far as mentioning that he reminds me of …. myself…. erm…. a little..
Monicans tumble down the face of the ravine like an organic landslide. The Breen superhero makes it to the bottom and heads into an underground complex. He purposefully walks down a corridor until a crazy but very agile Monican soldier confronts him. I say crazy because this geezer is armed only with a sword. The Monican soldier stands poised for attack.
The Breen is just as surprised at the audacity of this bloke as we are. He even glances at his gun. I mean! This Breen soldier has just killed about two hundred blokes with only two guns and two gun magazines – in just a few seconds! Who would you bet on!?
Well yer wrong! The Monican swordsman uses his sword to deflect the bullets of the superhuman Breen and then runs him through like a hot knife through butter. I also paused this bit but there were no dead Monican women clutching their dead babies in the background.
However, a Monican child with a slightly concerned look on her face (I’m with you luv!) tentatively pokes her head round a partially open door. The heroic Monican with the sword gently pats her on the head and she smiles sweetly. He then ushers her back into the room as a red light comes on and an alarm siren sounds. I get the feeling that the two are related, in fact I get the feeling that she was his daughter. It’s a bit of a depressing feeling cos the way things are going, the sweet little girl will be fatherless in a few seconds (probably shot by a chicken!).
He runs off and is joined by other Monican soldiers. one of these blokes was busily painting in his room moments earlier (as you do – well, good greif, there’s a war going on outside!) and as he wipes the sweat off his brow, some blue paint is smudged on his forehead.
The heroic Monican swordsman is on his own. He leaves the underground complex to see a huge Breen spaceship (or flying thing) hovering above. Ropes dangle from it and presently, lots and lots of Breen soldiers slide down the ropes guns blazing. In a stupendous example of acrobatic swordsmanship, the Monican hero slices his way up the ropes by chopping up the Breen attackers and momentarily using them as a stepladder before their life has expired. I know this sounds implausible, but you just had to be there I suppose. Anyway, it was wonderful to watch and I couldn’t help but be reminded of the 45 repetitions that I managed today while exercising on my rowing machine.
The Monican soldier, wielding his sword of death, enters the spaceship (flying thingy) and runs towards about ten Monican soldiers all firing machine guns. Every single bullet misses him and he carves his way through until the last Breen soldier, a woman, managed to get a bullet on target and the Monican falls to the ground, dead. About bloody time! I was beginning to wonder if the shows writers were stoned on ecstasy!
Anyway, this very beautiful Breen soldier stands atop the ships cargo opening and blasts her way through about fifty Monicans who, though each had comparable machine guns, missed her completely.
I can’t help but get the feeling that if you can hit a building at 50 yards you would be considered a marksman in Bregna or Monica.
She slides down one of the ropes and enters the Monican underground complex. As she does so, we see a dead Monican with a blue paint smudgemark on his forehead. She rushes to a prison cell and, after breaking the lock with a single shot, she releases a Breen prisoner. They embrace, I get the feeling that they are lovers. They run off and presumably escape.
The show ends there. That’s the most people I’ve ever seen shot in the shortest period of time and instead of smirking at the silliness and impossibility of it all, I remembered the embrace in the last scene; the dead woman and baby; the soldier with the blue paint smudged on his forehead; the little girl and her father; and of course, our darling Aeon shot in the head while making some lovely suggestive movements with her tongue.
That was the most gratuitous cartoon I’ve ever seen – wonderful! I’d rate this a blood curdling 42,220 out of 10. What did you think?
Discuss this in the Aeon Flux Forum
The “War” episode review is © 1999, 2000 Tony Fawl.
Not for reproduction without the authors express permission.
The Aeon Flux names, characters, pictures and everything else associated with the series are the property of Peter Chung, Chung, MTV Networks, Colossal Pictures and Liquid Television. All rights reserved.