US Release Date: 03-03-2006
Directed by: Kurt Wimmer
- Milla Jovovich, as
- Cameron Bright, as
- Nick Chinlund, as
- William Fichtner, as
- Sebastien Andrieu, as
- Ida Martin as
- Young Violet
Milla Jovovich in Ultraviolet.
Recently, in his review for Date Movie, Eric referred to it as the worst movie of 2006, until today I would have agreed with him. However, that was before I saw Ultraviolet, which is not only the worst movie of the year, but is also one of the worst movies ever made.
Milla Jovovich stars in this convoluted mess as Violet, a vampire/super-fighter/rebel. At some un-named point in the future a virus was uncovered that was basically vampirism. The government, after experimenting with controlling it, only managed to strengthen and spread it. Now, under the leadership of a dictatorial medical establishment, the government is seeking to hunt down and destroy all vampires.
Violet, who was pregnant when she contracted the vampire disease, works with the rebels and when the movie opens she is trying to steal a weapon developed by the government that supposedly has the power to destroy all vampires on earth. The weapon turns out to actually be a young boy, whose blood it seems has the power to kill. Naturally, the child brings out the dormant maternal instincts in Violet and she has to protect the boy from both the vampires and the government, both who want him dead.
While the plot is cheesy and unnecessarily complicated; it is the scripted dialogue that is the movie's worst problem. In fact, the dialogue is so bad, it's hard to believe someone actually wrote it, let alone got it made into a film. At the climax of the film, Violet faces off with the evil dictator in a fight to the death. "You got blood on me," he says. "Oh, it's on!" Dramatically the music swells and the camera zooms in on Violet as you wait for her comeback. "Yes, it is," she says. I have to say, as a catch-phrase/cutting remark, "Yes, it is," just doesn't quite make it.
Since the main reason for seeing this movie isn't the dialogue, you'd hope that the action would make up for it. Sadly, it's merely Matrix-lite, but without any feeling of tension whatsoever. It is video game action where people get shot, stabbed, sliced and diced without bleeding a drop. Violet herself, despite dying for a short time, barely gets a scratch until the end of the film, and then it's only so her clothes can change color to match the blood on her hand.
Is there anything good about Ultraviolet? Apart from Milla's very brief nude scene, when you see her walk down a hallway from behind, I'd have to say no. Where Date Movie was god awful, it did have some redeeming features. And that's certainly more than can be said about this waste of celluloid.
Milla Jovovich in ultraviolet
Ultraviolet is an over stylized CGI filled science fiction action film. The special effects look dated and the action is too outlandish to take seriously. At one point, Violet rides a motorcycle off of a skyscraper roof towards a helicopter that is shooting a rapid fire gun at her as she flies directly at it. Of course every bullet misses her but she never wastes a shot as she slams through the craft taking out the three crew members with one bullet each. She then crashes her bike through the window of another building without a single hair out of place, let alone any type of injury.
Of course, this opening action scene is intended to look cool and impressive but it accomplishes other things as well. It informs the audience that Violet can do any impossible feat and get out of any jam, taking away, as Scott mentioned, any tension whatsoever from the movie. A bit later she finds herself surrounded by two dozen men with guns aimed directly at her from only a few feet away. As if that is enough to stop or even wound her?
Later, in a public place, a threatened Six states to Violet that, “If I scream we’ll both be dead.” After what we have seen so far, we know that is not true, no matter how many armed men there may be around her. The real problem with that scene is that Violet appears to take that threat as viable. Really, because it has already been established that she can do pretty much anything she wants. The sword fight at the well where she takes out a dozen sword wielding men with one swipe of her sword would have been groan inducing if I had not laughed first.
Scott mentioned the poor dialogue and I agree. Just before the sword fight at the well, two of her kind, tell her, “We’re as strong as you.” Violet responds through gritted teeth, “Yeah, but are you one tenth as pissed off as I am.” When going to the climactic confrontation with the baddie and his army, Six comments to Violet that she cannot overcome those odds. She responds, “Haven’t you been paying attention? Killing is what I do.” Near the end, the head baddie says, “One woman against fourteen men. It’s ridiculous!” I guess he wasn’t paying attention.
Who wrote this shit, you wonder? That would be Kurt Wimmer, the brains behind the laughable action/science fiction flop Equilibrium (2002). This writer/director is, at best, qualified to work at the SYFY television network. All of the blame for this disaster falls on his hands. Jovovich does all that is required but there is nothing she can do to make this excrement more appealing. Although the female lead suffered the same impervious to pain flaw, his best work to date has been Salt (2010), to which he is currently writing the sequel. I just hope no one is stupid enough to let him direct it.
Photos © Copyright Columbia TriStar (2006)