Ultraviolet
Wow, it almost looks and acts like a real boy.

Theatrical Release Date: 03/03/2006
Director: Kurt Wimmer
Cast: Milla Jovovich, Cameron Bright, William Fichtner, Nick Chinlund

“A vampire and a dying human child. What a pathetic picture.”

That quote comes from the film “Ultraviolet” and pretty much sums up the plot and the net result of the “efforts” of writer/director Kurt Wimmer.

Wimmer came to some regard thanks to his efforts on the underappreciated and poorly marketed “Equilibrium”. While there were a number of cheesy, “1984” touches to his previous effort, my overall opinion was that Wimmer had made one of the more decent sci-fi films in recent memory. His latest “work” has destroyed any credibility that myself, or the planet Earth, had bestowed upon Herr Wimmer.

In taking this film apart like an alcoholic sucks on a bottle of Wild Turkey, I could start my review with the acting; most notably the poster girl, Milla Jovovich and the child she’s protecting throughout the film, Cameron Bright. But there’s nothing to speak of there. Have you ever seen a junior high school production of “A Streetcar Named Desire”? Then you’ve seen what Milla and Cameron were striving for.

Oh, and allow me to mention that while its no surprise that Jovovich’s character is named Violet, Bright’s fantastic name is Six. I’m spoiling nothing by saying it’s because he’s a clone and was the sixth in the line but still – didn’t anyone involved in the film watch TV in the ‘90s? I spent most of the film hoping he’d screw up and call Jovovich “Blossom”. Alas, that’s about the only mistake this film didn’t make.

And William Fichtner’s involvement only further hurts my delicate sensibilities. I didn’t want to mention him as I really like what he brings to the table usually but there is just no forgiving anyone on this roller coaster ride to ridiculous film hell.

From the acting, I could move on to the script. In doing so, I would just think of that 2 ½ page short story I wrote when I was 11, imagine it was stretched into an hour and a half and then take a hot, steamy dump on it.

Moving on to the art direction, much to my surprise, some of it was pretty cool. Violet can change the color of her clothes and hair at will and that looked great. All of the set design and clothing color schemes in the film are striking and add a layer of aesthetic and almost poetic beauty to the film. Though on the flipside, the look of the city was more like a cross between “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Bad Script” and “Aeon Sux”.

Now we get to the heart of the matter – the fighting. There had been talk of how hard Milla trained and how Wimmer felt this film was the evolution of the ‘gun kata’ fighting style he showed off in “Equilibrium”. In an interview I read with Wimmer, he mentioned how he assimilated bits of judo and bushido into the aforementioned gun kata and that now, he would term the fighting style, “Hollywood Do”.

While there were some interesting acrobatic feats and a few good movements in the bunch, let me rename his style, “Please God Don’t”. And allow me to demonstrate the fight scene you will see repeated over and over and over and over and over again. (I apologize if I missed an over or two but I stopped counting and started praying).

So Milla walks into a room. There are anywhere between 10 and 40 bad guys who surround her and point guns at her. She stands in the middle and allows them to start firing. The predicted outcome would be a dead waif full of lead and holes. The film’s actual outcome is a room full of dead enemies all neatly arranged and suspiciously free of blood spatter (just to get the PG-13 rating to complete whoring this film out).

I was already annoyed with this element in “Equilibrium” but this film takes it to a whole new level of suck.

Speaking of a whole new level, “Ultraviolet” did manage to make a remarkable impression on me. I’m usually one of the only people in a theater to laugh AT a film. Usually people either laugh where there might be something funny or because they don’t understand the film and mistake tragic sublimity for humor.

Watching this on opening night, the ENTIRE audience was laughing AT this film. Not only did I find this to be an absurd piece of crap, everyone else understood that as well. Let me set a scene for you to try and explain how this can happen.

So our heroine, Violet, has just killed another gaggle of enemies. She finally gets to face off with the bad guy. As she is a vampire (or hemophage as they’re monikered in this film), she decides to start the dumbo-on-dumbo by spitting blood on her opponent.

His response?

“You got hemo blood on me … It is on!”

Cue fight scene, complete with flaming METAL swords (sans any accelerant coating) to illuminate the room once the lights are put out, and you have the makings of the loudest laughter I’ve ever heard an audience throw AT a film.

Again, “Ultraviolet” just continues to both dumbify and titillate my senses with its craptitude. But is there any redeeming factor to this film, you ask?

Well, one of the people I saw the film with noted that there was a lot of hard work put into making the special effects, the costumes, etc. etc. A direct analogy I like to make is that using any expertise towards making “Ultraviolet” is like giving birth to Adolf Hitler. Sure, his parents may have had good intentions but they brought one major a-hole into the world. Similarly, everyone involved in making this film brought one HUGE ABORTION of a film to audiences around the world.

Another of my friends who was sitting next to me kept mentioning how the film was hurting her head and that I had better give this film a “box of hammers”. As the actual corresponding item for a film that receives a 0 out of 5 is a “bag of hammers”, I can’t accommodate her request.

However, as this film may be one of the greatest horrible films that are actually fun to watch, I find myself in a quandary trying to rate it. It seems almost unfair to give it a rating some other film could receive, as “Ultraviolet” is not really a film but a collection of ridiculous, repetitive fights, inane dialogue, unimaginative plot choices, crappy acting and piss-poor directing.

Having said all of that, I loved “Ultraviolet”. I came out of the theater laughing my ass off and when I exclaimed “That was AWESOME!” as the word “End” appeared on the screen, many of the people around me, friends notwithstanding, let out the first laughter in a an hour and a half not aimed at the screen in defense of their brain cells.

Those who know my penchant for bad films may not be surprised at that but let me elaborate on it. This is one of the most amazingly bad films I’ve EVER seen. It still leaves my jaw open thinking about it.

If you’ve ever wanted to see what millions of dollars and no idea what to do with a sci-fi film gets you, go see “Ultraviolet”. If you’ve ever wanted to drink yourself into oblivion, go see “Ultraviolet” and drink every time Milla kills somebody. If you’ve ever wondered what you would get by crossing a martial arts film and a Target commercial, go see “Ultraviolet”.

I can’t rate this “film” using my normal scale (though I suppose a 1 out of 5 would be in order since it is bad enough to laugh at and worth a drinking game). Watching it, I constantly had to remind myself that any attempt to use a brain cell must be thwarted, for fear/hope of an aneurysm.

It’s just so hard to describe how so incredibly over-the-top bad but at the same time wonderfully freeing it is. Even “Dungeons & Dragons” made more sense than “Ultraviolet”.

But as it is my job to do so, the following photo is the only way to put all of my thoughts and feelings together about “Ultraviolet”:

Watching “Ultraviolet” is intelligence suicide and I have to admit, I’m glad I’m just the guy for that kind of assignment. Now I’m off to get that beer. (For help in enjoying this film, see its Rules for Fools.)