Friday, March 03, 2006


Written and Directed by Kurt Wimmer
Screen Gems

Last year, I saw the uneducated comment from a box office guru that said that movies with a female action hero are doomed one goes to watch a female action hero. Not mentioning that the two volumes of Kill Bill and were highly successful, and once again, like all box office analysis, not blaming the crappy movie that the female action hero had to wander around in for two hours. Elektra was the source reason for the comment, and then I'm sure the same guy took delight when Aeon Flux bombed. The reason people don't go to see a movie, if they have the chance, is not because of some mundane reason like this.

The reason I mention this is that Ultraviolet is going to be under this same criticism when it likely falls short of expectations this weekend. Look at analysis website Box Office Mojo after this weekend's grosses come out, and see what Brandon Gray sites as the reason for its failure. He'll mention Elektra and Aeon Flux, likely, as harbingers for this movie. But when you look at trailers and you see the cheesy effects and a not-so-clear storyline, it doesn't scream "watch me."

The story: Violet (Milla Jovovich, queen of these movies) is a "Hemophase," an outcast in the human race who has had her blood infected with a virus that has made her vampire-like, not to mention sci-fi action worthy. The humans want to get rid of all of these types, and they've built what appears to be a weapon: Six, played by creepy kid actor Cameron Bright. Violet believes that whatever's inside Six might be able to cure her of the disease, and she enlists the help of Garth (William Fichtner) to try to find it. Meanwhile, she's getting chased by humans and her own kind for who she's harboring. This leads to a number of Matrix-style battles.

There are lots of mindless action scenes--a couple are actually pretty good, especially the final battle. But those incredibly low-rent effects take their toll in some scenes, especially when it's supposed to be cool that Violet is riding her motorcycle across the sides of buildings and it's never able to achieve that "Whoa" factor because it's all from a computer screen. It's exactly the kind of film that offers a lazy afternoon of thrills--yeah, pay the matinee price if you're jonesing to see this. It's in some ways a kind of throwback to eighties sci-fi actioners, and it fits the bill. Not terrible, not great--like most movies, it's OK.


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