Length: 88 minutes
Release Date: March 03, 2006
Directed by: Kurt Wimmer
Genre: Action / Sci-Fi
With its comic book feel and overblown sci-fi action sequences, “Ultraviolet” is ideal for viewers who do not mind sacrificing plot for visuals. In the film, Violet is a member of the Hemophages, a vampire-like group of infected humans who have gained superhuman abilities, but when she stumbles across a child with the power to wipe out her race, she must choose between saving her people and protecting the innocent boy. This fun flick may not hold a candle to big-budget sci-fi films like “The Matrix,” but viewers who look past this film’s weaknesses and appreciate it for what it is may just come away satisfied.
A strange disease known as the hemaglophagic virus, or HGV, has spread throughout the world in the late 21st century after it escaped from the lab where it was being tested to make super-soldiers with unnatural speed and strength. Those infected become Hemophages or vampires and gain superhuman abilities, such as regeneration and increased strength. Violet (Milla Jovovich) is a pregnant woman who is infected with the disease, and she is held captive for research purposes. After her captors terminate her pregnancy, Violet escapes from the holding camp and manages to find the Hemophage underground resistance movement.
Over the past 12 years, the human government has wiped out most of the Hemophages after seeing them as a threat to mankind, and vice cardinal Ferdinand Daxus (Nick Chinlund) has been a key player in this bloodbath. When the resistance movement began to fight back, the resulting fight became known as the Blood War.
Now a member of the underground, Violet disguises herself to infiltrate the Archministry, where she acquires a mysterious case that holds the greatest weapon against the Hemophages. She is ordered to destroy it without gazing at its contents. However, she disobeys orders and finds a young boy (Cameron Bright) in the case. She soon discovers that this child is named Six, and his body contains antigens capable of wiping out all those infected with HGV. Violet takes the child to her friend Garth (William Fichtner), who examines Six before warning Violet that the boy is equipped with a tracking device. Knowing that Daxus would soon come after both of them, she takes Six away before he is held captive by Nerva (Sebastien Andrieu), a commander in the resistance movement. Violet must set the boy free again, and she decides that she is willing to do whatever it takes to protect him.
Milla Jovovich, known for playing strong heroines in sci-fi films, gives a great performance as Violet in this unique film. Her character is visually stunning both at rest and during fight scenes. Her tough-girl acting style is marred only by the unremarkable dialog she is given in the film. Although most of the supporting cast does not stand out much, William Fichtner is fantastic as Garth, bringing a human element to the otherwise cartoon-like story. Renowned child actor Cameron Bright also gives a commendable performance as Six, creating a character that captures the hearts of viewers.
The film’s weakest points are its incomprehensible plot and awkward dialog. The characters are never truly developed as the story is told, and important plot points are either rushed or glazed over, leaving the viewer confused and disconnected from the story. This is in part due to the extensive cutting of various scenes before the movie was released. Viewers who watch the original, uncut DVD version of “Ultraviolet” find the plot to be much more engaging, although it is still over-the-top and unbelievable at certain points.
Although the action is visually appealing, many of the fight scenes get tired quickly due to their repetitive use of villainous characters and choreography. The CG effects are spectacular, helping to distract from some of the film’s weaker points. The costumes, sets and concepts offer a pleasant change of pace from the dull, monotonous elements introduced in most futuristic sci-fi films of recent years. The weapons are interesting and visually stunning, and gadgets, such as disposable paper cell phones, are fun concepts to see on screen.
“Ultraviolet” certainly has its shining moments, and it is one of the most visually stunning sci-fi films of recent years. However, the characters lack depth, and the lackluster plot is sure to disappoint audiences expecting an outstanding film. Those willing to look past these weaknesses will find that this flick provides plenty of fights and thrills, and the uncut version is even more entertaining. “Ultraviolet” may not be the best film of the year, but it certainly isn’t the worst.
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