An all-but-incoherent mess whose main components are palpably fake-looking CGI effects, video-game-style action sequences and Milla Jovovich's admirably taut abdomen, Kurt Wimmer's film epitomizes just about everything wrong with post-MATRIX, comic book-/video-game-inspired, Hong Kong-action-style sci-fi thrillers. Set in the future, years after a genetically...read more
An all-but-incoherent mess whose main components are palpably fake-looking CGI effects, video-game-style action sequences and Milla Jovovich's admirably taut abdomen, Kurt Wimmer's film epitomizes just about everything wrong with post-MATRIX, comic book-/video-game-inspired, Hong Kong-action-style sci-fi thrillers. Set in the future, years after a genetically engineered plague has set loose on the world a race of hyperfast, hyperstrong vampires dubbed "hemophages," a totalitarian state headed by the venal, germophobic Daxus (Nick Chinlund) holds the world in thrall with promises to keep them safe from the bloodsuckers. Vampire warrior Violet (Jovovich), who became one of the undead 12 years earlier after an attack that killed her husband and ultimately cost her the life of their unborn child, will do anything to bring down Daxus' government, which is housed in a cross-shaped building provocatively named the Arch-Ministry. As the film opens, Violet has been sent to intercept the ultimate anti-vampire weapon and bring it back to her leader, Nerva (Sebastien Andrieu). Though under strict orders not to open the case, she does: It contains a pale, apparently speechless 10-year-old boy named Six (Cameron Bright). Shocked and suspicious, Violet absconds with the boy, whose blood apparently contains an anti-vampire pathogen from which Violet's scientist friend Garth (William Fichtner) might be able to reverse-engineer a cure for the blood-plague. But Daxus is hot on Violet and Six's trail, as are Nerva and his gang — if Violet is to have any future at all, she must figure out what exactly Daxus' amoral researchers have cultivated in Six's blood and how to use it against them. Wimmer's previous credits include writing and directing the dystopian sci-fi picture EQUILIBRIUM (2002), a shameless, dumbed-down rehash of George Orwell's 1984 by way of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 that at least took a stab at exploring real ideas about human nature, the price of free will and the uses of art. ULTRAVIOLET (which bears no relation to the intelligent, sharply plotted U.K. vampire miniseries of the same title) is by contrast about nothing but flashy action effects, cool set design and ridiculous "futuristic" costumes, most of which are designed to bare as much of Jovovich's flesh as possible. If there's a multiplex in Hell, half the screens will show this film for all eternity while the other half will feature the equally brain-dead and overdesigned AEON FLUX (2005).
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