Directed by Karyn Kusama, starring Charlize Theron, Marton Csokas, Jonny Lee Miller, Sophie Okonedo, Frances McDormand, Pete Postlethwaite and Amelia Warner.

It's only a few months since the shortlived futuristic TV show 'Firefly' came back from the dead as the movie 'Serenity', and now another defunct sci-fi series has made the jump from small screen to big. But whereas 'Serenity' mixed derring-do, the thrills of Saturday morning serials and fun, 'Aeon Flux' - once an MTV cartoon - is full of the po-faced, sci-fi sensibilities that do a lot for fanboys but drive anyone else to seek solace in the uncomplicated pleasures of 'Stop the Pigeon'.

Set in 2415, the story takes place years after a virus has killed 99% of the earth's population. The remaining 1% - 5m - live in the walled, scientist-run city of Bregna. It seems like a utopia, but all is not well and rebels plot to overthrow the regime of Bregna's leader, Trevor Goodchild (Csokas). Among them is Aeon Flux (Theron), an assassin whose latest mission is followed by the murder of her sister Una (Warner). Vowing revenge, Aeon goes in search of Goodchild, but perhaps he isn't the real

Theron deserves praise for her willingness to try any role, but while she brings physicality and grace to the screen as an action hero, she's wasted in this dull and pretentious film. With lines delivered in snooker commentary monotone, 'Aeon Flux' is so convinced that it has something important to say that it forgets about being entertaining. Featuring electro music, men with high cheekbones in leather jackets and haircuts worthy of the Trinity Ball in the 1980s (McDormand looking like she's paying tribute to Cyndi Lauper on 'Stars in Their Eyes'), it adheres to the sci-fi conventions but Theron's catsuit aside, is largely unmemorable. And while there's no denying the sets looks spectacular, this film has more to offer interior designers than anyone seeking drama or adventure.

Stick with 'Serenity'.

Harry Guerin