Writer/director Kurt Wimmer reaffirms his position as the worst motion picture director not named Uwe Boll working in the movie industry with Ultraviolet. Wimmer gained a little undeserved cult fame with the theatrically ignored movie Equilibrium, but despite some really odd pockets of geek love, the film was a disaster. Ultraviolet is no better, in fact it's a lot worse.
It's all style over substance in the story of Violet (Milla Jovovich), a self-described hemophage. Hemophage is a fancy way of saying genetically engineered vampire. Except there's no neck biting for these blood lusters, that doesn't seem to be in their genetic coding. Having been modified by a contagious disease in a nearish future, they're vampires only in name, and it's odd that Wimmer bothered writing them as vamps in the first place since it serves no real purpose in his script. But then most of the stuff that was written down in whatever served as this movie's script serves no purpose, so why should that be any different.
Violet bursts onto the screen running and gunning and shooting. She's soon intertwined in a plot to destroy all of her hemophage brethren, or the human race or something. Along for the ride is a kid, whom everyone seems to want though no one seems to know exactly why. Having lost a kid of her own once, Violet gets massively maternal and decides to protect him, though I personally suspect she was just looking for an excuse to do some killing. Or rather it was the creatively brain dead Mister Wimmer who was looking for the excuse.
Yet even the killing isn't very awe inspiring. With a terminally retarded script, you'd at least hope for some good action in a movie like this. There's plenty of shooting and stabbing, but even that feels cold and empty. The violence is presented in such a childish fashion, that it has all the impact of a Pokemon battle. There's no blood, and not much visible death, though a great many gas-masked figures fall lifeless to the ground. If not for the sheer number of vaguely humanoid figures rendered motionless in Violet's wake, Ultraviolet could have easily been a soft, plush, PG instead of PG-13.
To peg Ultraviolet as cartoony is an understatement, and probably a disservice to some of the better animated films we've seen in recent years. Wimmer's movie is simply terminally shallow, with Wimmer lacking the ability or the wit needed to create or write anything beyond a third grade reading level.
To give the pic a little credit, it does at least have a unique production design and a few slightly cool, ultimately pointless gadgets. Kurt does have some skill for capturing a certain look, a skill that would perhaps be better put to use designing matte paintings or at best directing thirty-second Scion commercials.
The real shame in all of this is that Milla Jovovich truly is a talented, physical presence. It's a pity that she's never found the right action niche, but there's nothing in Ultraviolet for her or the audience to latch on to. It's as lifeless and wasted as it sounds; let's hope this is the last we see of Kurt Wimmer.
Reviewed By: Joshua Tyler