Article

ULTRAVIOLET


STARRING: Milla Jovovich, Cameron Bright, Nick Chinlund, William Fichtner, Sebastien Andrieu, Ida Martin, Ricardo Mamood

2006, 85 Minutes, Directed by: Kurt Wimmer


Description: Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil, The Fifth Element), Cameron Bright (X-Men 3), Nick Chinlund (The Legend of Zorro) and William Fichtner (The Longest Yard) star in this theatrical set in the late 21st century, a subculture of humans have emerged who have been modified genetically by a vampire-like disease (Hemophagia), giving them enhanced speed, incredible stamina and acute intelligence, and as they are set apart from "normal" and "healthy" humans, the world is pushed to the brink of worldwide civil war (a war between humans and hemophages) aimed at the destruction of the "diseased" population. In the middle of this crossed-fire is - an infected woman - Ultraviolet, who finds herself protecting a nine-year-old boy who has been marked for death by the human government as he is believed to be a threat to humans.
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A few years back director Kurt Wimmer made Equilibrium, an unoriginal sci-fi action movie featuring some unexpectedly enjoyable - albeit implausible - Matrix-style action sequences. This year Wimmer is back with Ultraviolet, an Aeon Flux-like sci-fi movie he claims to have written specifically with lead actress Milla Jovovich of Fifth Element and Resident Evil fame in mind.

What Jovovich did to deserve this particular movie isn’t exactly clear. The same goes for the poor audience. This time we also have implausible and over-the-top action sequences, but the movie is so overloaded with them that they become tiresome. Wimmer obviously have never heard the expression “less is more”.

"The CGI effects are particularly cheap and obvious looking . . ."

When a heroine is as invincible and indestructible as the one portrayed here and kills off hordes of faceless henchmen without even so much as breaking a sweat, the action becomes simply repetitive and pointless. In the hands of superior directors such as Quentin Tarantino over-the-top scenes like these would be played tongue-in-cheek with satiric purposes in mind. Wimmer instead plays them straight, obviously not having gotten the joke in Kill Bill . . .

To make matters worse, the CGI effects are particularly cheap and obvious looking. Scenes which are meant to be photorealistic look instead like a bad PlayStation game. Come to think of it, we’ve seen better graphics in the computer games we had back in the old 486 days. No wonder today’s youth prefers playing computer games to going to the cinema: the graphics are better and games at least offer some interactivity!

All Ultraviolet offers is an incomprehensible plot filled with the sort of meaningless technobabble that gives science fiction a bad name and would make any Star Trek writer blush. Also, the movie has no rhythm or tempo. Fuelled by an incessantly thumping techno soundtrack designed to give you migraines Ultraviolet is just one damned cheesy-looking action scene after the other without so much as a hint of tension or emotional resonance. It was as if the entire movie was created so that they could make a cool-looking trailer out of it.

But don’t be fooled: Ultraviolet is such a stinker that you’d be wishing that you were rather watching one of those Resident Evil movies instead . . . (On the plus side, the primary neon colour sets and costumes is a welcome change from the usual more gloomy production designs we’ve seen in recent celluloid sci-fi.)

 




 

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