2006-10-02 13:50


It's a technologically advanced future, and a biological war has split the human race. A new subspecies, the vampire-like Hemophages, have super-human abilities, but must have frequent blood transfusions to survive. They are marginalised by paranoid humans and a totalitarian leadership, who have developed a virus, carried by a young boy, to destroy them. Enter Violet, an extremely athletic Hemophage, who must protect the boy to save her kind.


"My name is Violet," says the opening voice-over, "and I was born into a world you may not understand." Fantastic. The film has barely hit the 20 second mark and it's already trying to abscond from the responsibility of presenting its audience with a comprehensible plot.

Not that this matters, of course. Few cinemagoers will be drawn to Ultraviolet because they perceive the promise of an intricately woven story, coupled with compassionate, understated characterisation. If that's what you're looking for, go watch one of those low budget movies where they have to resort to such techniques because they can't afford to blow things up or dress Milla Jovovich any way they damn well please.

But if it's set-piece after set-piece of laughably impossible violence you're after, with a generous side portion of Jovovich's gorgeous form in outfits so tight they look like they were sprayed on from the inside, you've come to the right place.

Here's what happens. Violet enters a room, filled with twenty or thirty men with swords. They glare at each other meaningfully for a few seconds. Cue action music, and all Hell breaks loose. Moments later, all the men are dead, and Violet stands motionless between the bodies. She uses a handy futuristic device to change the colour of her hair and spandex (for disguise purposes, you understand) and enters the next room. Repeat as above.

Sure, there are some differences between the scenes (different men, different clothes, different weapons) and there's an ultra cool motorbike/helicopter chase to break the monotony of killing roomfuls of people, but ultimately, this is just about all you're going to get for the price of your movie ticket.

The dialogue is saturated with cornball cliches, and the plot is treated with the contempt it deserves, but this is not to say Ultraviolet is not an enjoyable movie. Since when does a movie have to be good to be enjoyable? For many, Noriaki Yuasa's Gamera vs Zigra (1971) makes for a far more enjoyable evening than Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal (1957). Sometimes, you just want to kick back and have some stupid, meaningless fun, and Ultraviolet is just about as stupid and meaningless as a movie can get.

- Chris McEvoy
A beautiful vampire in a futuristic world has to protect a boy who holds the cure for all the humans transformed in vampires by a virus.

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