Reviewed by

Bud Carlson

It seems a blood-borne plague has spread among the people some time ago, leading to fear and chaos. The semi-fascist government has made a concerted effort by to wipe out all carriers of the virus, but the carriers have banded together underground to fight against their oppressors. The story takes place, I don’t know, somewhere. The time is The Future. It’s one of those pristine, flawless futures, with one big beautiful skyline. All citizens seem to lead spotless yet uninspired lives, except for the evil Daxus (Nick Chinlund) that runs the place (city / country / planet / who knows).

There. That’s really about all we understand about Ultraviolet. One of the things that recurs in the movie is the title character telling us, “I was born into a world you might not understand.” As it turns out, she’s not kidding. And we’re going to continue to not understand as long as the movie continues to avoid explaining it to us. Meanwhile, I guess we’ll just look at the pretty pictures.

People who have been infected are called Hemophages, which translates literally into “blood eaters” in Latin, though that’s not mentioned in the movie. Blood eaters as in vampires, which is a term that is mentioned in the movie a couple times, though none of the characters does anything vampire-like. Anyhow, a Hemophage freedom fighter named Violet (Milla Jovovich) steals a government weapon that turns out to be a young boy (Cameron Bright). Contained in this boy’s blood is an antigen that will either kill all the Hemophages, or possibly kill all the humans. (There is some confusion about who the weapon is meant to harm.) Either way, this antigen is slowly killing the boy, so Violet (who develops a surrogate-mother relationship with the boy over a 3-minute timespan) has to act fast. To act fast doing what isn’t really clear.

In order to do whatever it is she’s doing (saving the boy? Curing the hemophages? Killing Daxus?), Violet must kill a lot of soldiers, security guards, police and secret agents. We quickly learn that she always emerges victorious no matter now many men she is fighting in a given battle, and there is no suspense or chance she’ll even be captured, let alone killed. Lots more colorful and pretty pictures to watch while she is fighting. Oh wait, at one point she seems to be killed, but then her friend Garth (William Fichtner) is shown waking her up, explaining that, well, somehow, maybe she was only sleeping? Or something. Couldn’t really figure it out.

The movie was written and directed by Kurt Wimmer. It was hard to figure out. There was a bunch of confusing sci-fi jargon jumbled together, and plenty of random plot twists, where the characters know perfectly well what’s going on, but the audience doesn’t. I said the characters know what’s going on, but I’m not sure the actors do. The line reading is all flat and matter-of-fact, except for a few minor characters, who chose to speak their lines in an exaggerated and comical fashion.

Ultraviolet is very pretty to look at, with sets that emphasize primary and electric-bright colors, and a style of photography and makeup that makes the characters’ faces look waxy and otherworldly. Many sequences look like a combination of live-action and CGI, which is a really cool effect to see. As I said, if we can’t figure out what the story is, at least they gave us pretty pictures to look at.

Armstead’s Second:  Upon exiting the theater after viewing Kurt Wimmer’s ‘UltraViolet’, my initial reaction was ‘what the f#@K was that?’.  I honestly can’t tell you man.  A few lines of lame dialog wrapped around disconnected action sequences wrapped around all 86 pounds of Milla Jovovich wrapped around techno music.  It actually had me longing for ‘The English Patient’.  And I dug Mr. Wimmer’s ‘Equilibrium’.  Lift your foot off the pedal man and bring it down so that human brains can digest what’s supposed to going on!  I’m going to assume DVD version will have a ‘Director’s Cut’ because there is no way this holy mess could be anyone’s vision of what this movie was supposed to be.



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