Welcome to a little segment I like to call Bad Film Friday, or BFF for short. Why BFF? Because you and I are BFF’s. Today, let’s talk about perhaps the biggest flop of Milla Jovovich’s career: 2006’s Ultraviolet. Directed by Kurt Wimmer, best known for his film Equilibrium (2004), Ultraviolet (2006)…is a thing that exists for some reason.
The film opens up with a bunch of ninjas breaking into a lab and killing a bunch of scientists. We then get into an obligatory exposition dump from a woman named Violet Song Jat Shariff. She reveals that a virus from a lab broke out into the world and turned those infected into vampires, or “hemophages”. They grow fangs, possess super strength and healing, a vulnerability to sunlight, but much shorter lifespans compared to humans. Due to the outbreak, everyone is forced to quarantine and wear a mask.
Violet reveals that she is a hemophage and that she lost her husband and unborn child to the virus. In the present day, Violet infiltrates a government facility to steal an encased weapon. She successfully steals it, but her cover is blown. A shootout and fight ensues, and Violet gets away. She opens the case out of curiosity and is shocked when she sees a young boy named Six. Violet and Six escape, while the government, led by a man named Daxus, hunt the two down.
There are a lot of issues I have with this movie. Let’s start with the opening credits sequence. The movie opens up with a bunch of comic book covers overlaid with the opening credits. Was Ultraviolet (2006) derived from a comic book series? Nope. There’s literally no reason at all for that opening credits sequence to exist. Hell, the comic book covers were created solely for the movie! Another thing I couldn’t stand was the absolute trash dialogue. Violet and Six’s conversations primarily consist of Violet demanding answers from Six or ordering him what to do while Six stares blankly at her. Milla’s line delivery as Violet is so bad it sounds like she was phoning her performance in for a paycheck, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she were. She sounds so bored that it looked like she were going to fall asleep, hell I wanted to!
One other thing, in every action scene, it seemed like Violet’s hair, eyes, and outfit changes color every five seconds or so. Why does this happen? I don’t know! You might think she does this to blend in, but that’s not the case. One second, she’s wearing black and purple, the next second, the purple is replaced by yellow. A good drinking game to play would be to take a shot after every color change Violet undergoes. I’ll warn you though, play this game with beer. Don’t do it with hard liquor. Another drinking game is, take a shot after anyone says the line “he’s a child”.
Another set of issues I had with the film were the special effects and set designs. The CGI is so bad, the film looks like it was still being rendered before our eyes. I understand that you might not have the biggest budget, but make the most with what you have. For example, Dredd (2012) had a similar budget as Ultraviolet (2006), so they used CGI very sparingly: adding in a building here or there or making certain structures look bigger than they actually are, rather than creating entire sets out of CGI. Speaking of sets, the design of the city looked very bland and lacked any sort of character; it just looked like every generic futuristic city. In addition, Director Kurt Wimmer modelled the main government lab after the biohazard symbol to further hammer in the occurrence of the outbreak. It’s both pretentious and cringe worthy. The entire film also has this bizarre airbrushed filter over it, which makes everyone’s skin look like it’s made of plastic.
Despite this movie being one of the worst films I’ve seen, I did have a little bit of fun, seeing how the whole hemophage outbreak is similar to the COVID-19 pandemic. But that’s where the fun ends. This movie isn’t a movie I would call “so bad it’s good”, it’s really more of a “so bad it’s sad” type of bad movie. Seriously, this movie is 80-90% fight scenes and chase sequences. While you could try watching it for the fight scenes, I wouldn’t recommend it. The fights are both badly choreographed and poorly edited. It’s obvious that the actors were not trained martial artists, so they had to edit the film to make the fights more convincing. The end result will make you go dizzy as you struggle to make sense of all the crazy camera cuts and weird angles. Overall, I would not recommend this film to anyone, unless they want to experience self-imposed torture.