Sunday, March 05, 2006


Review by Michael Jaffe

For anyone who saw or was a fan of Kurt Wimmer’s previous sci-fi action flick Equilibrium, I apologize because Ultraviolet is like Equilibrium if you lobotomized the writer so all he knew were action scenes and dialogue from Rocky V. The plot is fairly thin, making it seem like it should be a 20 page book, and not a waste of a movie with only an eighty minute run time. The story is about a vampire-like disease that is very contagious and the government wishes to exterminate the people with the disease. Violet is one of the infected and she fights back at the big bad government.
For those of you who didn’t see the under-the-radar classic Equilibrium, it was a sci-fi film that had some depth to it as its characters battled not people, but their emotions. Ultraviolet has none of that emotional depth. While Equilibrium didn’t have awe inspiring dialogue, the words all seemed like the characters and actual people would actually say them. In Ultraviolet, any amount of believability is thrown out the window for corny one-liners that make sense in a movie trailer or even a comic book, but in a feature film, most of the dialogue came off as pure comedy. Frequently in the screening I saw, people would break out into violent laughter as Milla Jovovich uttered most of the ridiculous phrases.
While Milla Jovovich is a former model, and a somewhat capable action actress, see the first Resident: Evil or The Fifth Element, her acting ability is not strong enough by a long shot to make the corny dialogue work. While she does look incredible in tight outfits performing incredible action stunts, whenever someone isn’t dying, a little but of my soul was because of her delivery. The supporting cast though was surprisingly decent, at least you felt bad for them having to say the lines. William Fitchner delivers an actually acceptable bit performance as a scientist, making me believe that he is one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood today.
Kurt Wimmer continues to show that he can direct the most incredible action sequences on earth with such sequences as a motorcycle race on the side of buildings and even a awesome flaming sword fight. Unfortunately, any sign of being an intelligent action film director he showed in Equilibrium was ditched for the sake of his most recent flick. While the film is visually stunning, not only the fight scenes, but even the sunsets in the background were so stunning that you could actually not hear the dialogue for minutes because you were gaping at the beautiful landscapes. The art and action value of the film was incredible but it was still hard to get over such lines as “Get over here and sit your little butt down or you’ll see who the real bad guy is!”
While I really hope Mr. Wimmer continues to make bad ass action movies, I hope he gets a co-writer next time to help him recover some of the magic that made his previous adventure great. This time though, Mr. Wimmer has struck out in the fashion of a three year old trying to hit Randy Johnson: looking cute, but once you get down to what matters it’s a big swing and a miss. 4/10

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