Film review by: Witney Seibold


            Kurt Wimmer’s new action sci-fi fight-fest Ultraviolet may seem to the casual observer to be merely another dull beat-‘em-up retread along the lines of, say, your Æon Flux. I’m am happy to report, and not at all ashamed to admit, that Ultraviolet is an innovative and fun and spectacular beat-‘em-up. Milla Jovovich in the title role is lithe and capable as an action heroine, and very comely in her color-changing mood outfits. The film’s story is, of course, ludicrous; the action-laced-future-dystopia genre demands it. Luckily, it seems as if the director sensed how silly the story was, and wisely did not spend too much time mulling it over, or wasting valuable fighting time with tedious exposition.

            The story: In the future, a virus runs rampant that tamsforms its victims into super-strong vampire types for a while before killing them. The evil government (represented by Nick Chinlund, wearing a really goofy nasal purifier) has set out death warrants on all the infected. Violet (Jovovich) is a super-armed vixen who seems to spend all her time killing uninfected people (mostly just the usual movie guys-in-black-masks) and trying to bring down the government. The story takes a very Gloria twist when she finds herself in the possession of a young boy (Cameron Bright from Birth) whose blood may hold the secret to saving all the infected, or killing them.

            O.k. You can start paying attention again. Wimmer made a film a few years ago called Equilibrium, and if you were lucky enough to see it, you know what to expect from Ultraviolet. Both feature a few interesting if quarter-baked ideas about the future. Both feature really cool and innovative fighting styles (Equilibrium mixed kung-fu with guns, Violet had a nifty gizmo that lets her flip gravity around, making for an excellent on-the-wall motorcycle chase). Both were made on the cheap, and look it. But the fighting scenes were first-rate. The film seems earnest in its desire to be a robust entertainment. So who cares if the plot makes little sense (there’s a scene in which Violet dispatches a group of Chinese-speaking thugs. It’s never explained who those guys are), the actors overact, and the technology isn’t very clear. It’s small and simple and a heckuva lotta fun.

March 3rd, Screen Gems

Published in: on August 12, 2008 at 10:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

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