The future of production design has become the death of it. Instant sets and worlds digitized and spewed out with the organic performers stitched in like Roger Rabbit only backwards. Ultraviolet takes this philosophy a step further and uses CGI to alter its vixen’s hair and make-up/wardrobe at will, for no better reason than to color coordinate her sexy choreographed killing with her colorful fake surroundings. But at least there’s no muddled philosophizing to weigh down this latest sci-fi file, which means it offers some fun for those who like their action on unpretentious auto-pilot.
“My name is Violet. I was born into a world which you might not understand”. Thus begins a voice over which goes on to do little to enlighten us, and is merely the beginning of cliché-ridden action dialogue (although it was quite a feat to come up with so many variations on “You’re all going to die!”). The story follows a futuristic war between humans and the hemophages, a dying group of quarantined mutants infected by a lethal virus that genetically alters its host. Milla Jovovich slides into her chameleon spandex and neon wig to fight alongside the hemophages, a role that grows to encompass the fate of both races and the final outcome of the war.
Never has terminal illness in the wake of HIV kicked so much ass. I couldn’t help but draw parallels to the AIDS epidemic while watching Ultraviolet (“Cuz we all know the government administered AIDS!” he should ‘a said that on the telethon) but it was probably unintentional. The last thing the filmmakers would want is its audience pondering mortality while Jovovich so callously not ponders it. “You’re all going to die!”
Oh, but it was for the love of sheer camp that kept me watching, I chuckled as the camera flew in and out of Yakuza mobster Ray-bans creating action out of reflecting eye wear. I chortled when Milla grabbed hold of that bitches weave, the bitch in this case being two dudes with nasty stoner hair. And I guffawed in disbelief when during the final showdown she uses her enhanced super senses to block a spiteful loogie viciously launched at her by her nemesis. To think that at some point they had to storyboard this shit!
That’s about all there is to say. In the end, Ultraviolet is one of those bad movies that will leave you grimacing in boredom or playfully zoning out. It’s the next-generation of FX where nothing is next-gen, especially the smarts, and the overall effect is a cartoon with people. At least this episode of Looney Tunes is lighter than the rest.