March 9, 2006

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Ultraviolet (R)
reviewed by Amy Diaz

A genetically modified vampire-ish girl takes on the germaphobe fascist government of a future world ruled by fear and some truly kick-ass fightwear in Ultraviolet, a movie that doesn’t quite live up to the high standards for cheese of Bloodrayne but certainly tries to.

“Based on a comic book” is slipping to the “based on a video game” level of movie source material. Unfortunate for all those potential Sin Citys out there but just think of the additional movie possibilities this affords Uwe Boll!

Violet (Milla Jovovich) was infected with some bloodborne vampiric illness that gives you super strength (I think) and a few vampire traits like sensitivity to light and fangs (sometimes). Because the population is terribly afraid of also catching the vampvirus, the government has attempted to eliminate the carriers. But they’re pissed and strong and they’ve decided to fight back.

Actually, they’ve decided to let Violet fight back, which she’s totally fine with because — as we learn in her backstory — the virus and the government killed her husband and her unborn child. (Do not stop to question; just keep moving.) So she’s full of righteous anger (which is perhaps what keeps changing her hair and outfit colors, mood ring style). But that righteous anger gets a little deflated when she finds out that her latest target for destruction is a kid named Six (Cameron Bright, who can do eerie-child-marked-for-death in his sleep). She decides to abandon her cause and attempt to save Six, thus setting both vampires and the even more evil government leader Daxus (Nick Chinlund) after her. All parties want the kid, who might hold the cure to the blood illness or the means of destroying everyone carrying it.

I’ve probably massacred the mythology for this comic book but, hey, the movie did it first. Ultraviolet is a movie where every decision appears to have been made on the basis of whether or not it looks cool. Stuff like story continuity and visual comprehension of what’s going on in a scene is not just secondary but tertiary to the concern of (1) does it look cool and (2) does it show off Jovovich’s assorted assets as well as possible.

Had I seen Brokeback Mountain or King Kong this early in 2005, I might have had a hard time being as wowed and intrigued by the movies of the remaining 10 months. Such, I think, is my problem with Ultraviolet. It is a horrible movie (wooden acting, nonsensical plot developments, absolutely atrocious dialogue including the dead-serious use of the line “oh, it’s on!”) but I’m not as in love with its junk food elements as I might have been had I not seen the high-school-drama-class-quality Bloodrayne so recently. For that reason I can only say that Ultraviolet is exactly as bad as you think it will be and not worth your money, even for mocking purposes. D

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