Review: Ultraviolet

"Hello. My name is Violet. I was born into a world you may not understand. I'll start at the beginning. Everything changed when a government lab discovered a virus that caused genetic mutation. They used it to create faster and stronger soldiers. The problem was we became a threat. Those of us who survived extinction started fighting back."
-- Violet Song jat Shariff

The virus spoken of in Violet's narrative is called 'hemophagia'. The effects are similar to becoming a vampire, and because of the elongated teeth accompanied by the aforementioned virus, victims of it are referred to as vampires. They are faster, stronger, and physically superior to humans, except for sensitivity to sunlight and an abbreviated lifespan. Violet herself was given twelve years to live once she became infected. With the vampires on the brink of extinction and having a very short life span, they are willing to take plenty of risks, as Milla Jovovich aptly portays in Ultraviolet.

Although the above quote is pared down, Violet also says things about "camps" for those that are infected with the virus, being exterminated. Violet raps angrily, "I got sick and now I'm worthy of extermination". Echoes of the Holocaust ripple through this feature, giving you a shiver as you hear the words roll over your mind. The whole premise of the movie is based around the war between humans and "Hemophages" (aka vampires). Violet is a singular Hemophage warrior battling the totalitarian dictator Daxus (Nick Chinlund) who is determined to wipe out her species at any cost.

The exact date is never given to us, but it's clear by the technology and the architecture that it's meant to be somewhere around the late 21st century. Violet has plenty of nifty toys, such as a gravity leveler that gives her the ability to walk on ceilings and walls and even ride a motorcycle along the side of a skyscraper. The effects are not the best I've ever seen, but certainly not amateur at all. You believe in the moment what you are seeing and that's a motorcycle driving UP a skyscraper (or down or across).

Violet has the task of rescuing a secret weapon: a boy named Six (Cameron Bright ala Godsend and The Butterfly Effect). At first she is cold and harsh with the boy, as she is with everyone. The loss of her human life has left her jaded and she doesn't allow herself to have emotions. As Violet rasps to Six, "Park it. Don't make me tell you twice", it's hard to imagine a softer side to her character. As she spends more time with Six, the emergence of a fierce and protective mama bear is evident, as is her growing affection for the enigmatic child. He evolves from being merely a package, to being "a human child". Both sides of the war urge her to "destroy" him and she flatly and disgustedly refuses, meeting any challenge to protect him. The way this movie handles Violet's miscarriage and reemergence of her maternal emotions is beautiful and striking.

Their are many action sequences in Ultraviolent, designed by Mike Smith to combine multiple martial arts disciplines, such as jujitsu and aikido. The results are quick, sleek, and right on the mark. Clever choreography of the gun fights, hand-to-hand combat and sensational swordfights are reminiscent of Kill Bill, perhaps better. Each is executed in a creative new way so the action never gets stall or predictable.

If you liked The Matrix, Kill Bill, or Aeon Flux you will love this movie. Shades of all three films can be seen, although not overused or overdone. The effects are dictated by the script. They fall into the right moments and add an extra element of surrealism to your palate.


If you liked the fighting styles in "Ultraviolet" check out "Equilibrium". Same director...very cool "gun kata" fighting. :)

7:57 PM  

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