Human society has been decimated by a holocaust caused by biological warfare research gone wrong: instead of creating super-soldiers, a genetically-engineered virus turns infected humans into Hemophages, a vampire-like sub-species with enhanced physical abilities. In the infection-paranoid and technologically advanced society that follows, Violet is a singular Hemophage warrior battling the totalitarian dictator who is determined to wipe out her species at any cost.
Directed by: Kurt Wimmer
. Starring: Milla Jovovich
, Cameron Bright
, Nick Chinlund
, Sebastien Andrieu
, Ida Martin
, William Fichtner
, David E. Collier
, Kieran O'Rorke
, Digger Mesch
, Ryan Martin
, Steven Calcote
, Ricardo Mamood-Vega
, Mike Smith
. Music by: Klaus Badelt
In the future, society is governed by mysophobic doctors, who ironically enough have created their own worst enemy. Discovering a virus that was relatively unknown, but had still been around for a long time, they tried to modify it to create faster, stronger soldiers. They only succeed in making it more contagious, and accidentally release it into the population. People become infected, transform into crazy powerful warriors, and are then forever dubbed as Hemophages. Both the government and the general citizens fear this new race in their midst and began to hunt them down and exterminate them in a manner reminiscent of the Holocaust.
Now only a handful of Hemophages exist and are trying to desperately cling on to what little life they have, enter Violet (Milla Jovovich). Violet is a highly trained agent of the Hemophages who is sent to retrieve a weapon that can supposedly wipe all of them out, catch is the weapon is a small boy, and another catch is that Violet lost her child when she got sick, so now she wants to play mamma and protect the child, Six (Cameron Bright).
So, here is where things begin to get complicated. Violet betrays her kind to save Six, who turns out to be a clone of Daxus (Nick Chinlund), the leader of the government, and is the sixth clone, hence the silly name. And through a confusing series of twists, in which Six is an ultimate weapon, then he is not, oh but then he is again! No wait...his blood can save us! And lo! Apparently Hemophagia (the virus that makes Hemophages) is actually the virus that makes vampires! So that means that Hemophage is really a goofy technical term made to function as a thinly veiled reference to vampirism; which explains the humongous canines they are all sporting.
So the story is a little wacky, and downright lacking. The unfortunate thing is the directing and acting does nothing to save it. Kurt Wimmer, the director who made the cult hit Equilibrium, seems to be trying so hard for about half the movie to make something good, then just throws his hands up and says "Screw it! I'm done!" At various points it seemed they knew they were going to be losing the audience, so they just threw up a gratuitous shot of Milla's rear, and this happens a lot, there are more butt shots than fight scenes. The dialogue, which already wasn't one of the movies strongest points, gets worse; the audience gets treated to such gems as: "Are you mental?!" Daxus says when Violet apparently approaches seven-hundred soldiers, the HemophageVampire scientist Garth's great line "Why do you keep shutting me out? You need to learn to let people in!" and hands down, the greatest line to ever kick off the climatic battle at the end of a movie, "It is on!" Wimmer's direction is all over the place, like a kid with ADD who just cocktailed caffeine and sugar, then shot it directly into his veins. He doesn't seem to be able to focus on any particular story element to push, and instead throws out a hodgepodge of themes that are only mildly touched upon. His vision for this movie seemed so grand, but he couldn't exactly decide what he wanted it to be. The unfortunate thing was that his movie prior to this was amazing, which means that either that was a fluke, or something went horribly wrong. The movies original runtime was supposed to be 120 min, and the studios cut it down to 88 min, much to the chagrin of the director. This might explain some of the problems with the film, but I am having trouble seeing how the extra 32 minutes will raise the film above mediocre at best.
Considering the low budget of the movie, stylistically the movie is stunning. It aims for a highly stylized, comic book feel, like a colored Sin City. However, for such a CG (computer graphic) heavy movie, they should have gotten a bigger budget. At no point did anything that was CG generated look realistic, most of it looked like something from the mid-nineties era of video games. And the CG only got worse as the movie went on, the movie ends with the worst fake fire I have since the 80's.
The movies strongest point, other than Milla Jovovich's looks, is the fight scenes. The Gun Kata that Wimmer developed for Equilibrium makes it return in Ultraviolet, now shown with the fluidity that Wimmer intended. The fights themselves look amazing, but are crazily unrealistic. For as much fun as it is to see someone dodge bullets, thus causing her enemies to effectively shoot themselves, by about the third time everyone circles around Violet to fight, you ask yourself, "Is everyone in this world really that stupid?" The PG-13 rating also creates an interesting dilemma in that the fights are bloodless, it seems like she is just clubbing everyone to death, and no visible wounds appear on anyone, at anytime.
With its futuristic setting the movie has lots of gadgets, space compression technology that allows its user to store a huge cache of weapons in a bracelet, only to have them materialize in the hands. This also allows for blades to pop out of guns, devices that allow a person to reverse gravity around themselves (which I still want to know how that's possible). And what I personally think is interesting, but merited an explanation for which it got none, is the clothing and hair that functioned like a mood ring and constantly changed colors.
I'm a masochist when it comes to movies, so to say I didn't enjoy this movie would be a dirty lie. That doesn't mean I think it was a good movie. This movie is only slightly better than Uwe Boll's films; it's a train wreck, just not a catastrophic one.
Review by LordDayehawk from the Internet Movie Database.