Movie Review: UltraViolet

So... let's see. Since December I've now seen four films that have strong female protagonists, an SF/F setting, and which have not been released to critics ahead of time. Three of them were vampire-themed.

I have a feeling that anything I say at this point will be irrelevant. I've already tainted your opinion of my tastes by flaunting my predilection for what is ultimately little more than a string of "B" movies. (Except for BloodRayne. That was an "F" movie.)

On a scale of BloodRayne to Aeon Flux, I'd have to place UltraViolet right about where Underworld: Evolution sits. How's THAT for a rating scale?

The opening credits for UltraViolet were great -- it was just comic-book covers, with the names on the covers morphing into movie credits -- but then I'm partial to comic-book cover art. As Dan pointed out after the film, the opening credits would have been much more effective if they'd used the Robocop or Total Recall trick and run the credits over news broadcasts that tell us about the "world" we're being introduced to. As it was we had to suffer through a Mila Jovovich narration that misses the "welcome to my world" cliche by a couple of syllables.

Storywise, the film suffers. I'm not saying it suffers in the way a colonoscopy patient might suffer. No, it suffers more like a high-school student with "World History" during the last hour of school. In short, it's not painful. It's merely tedious.

The visuals, on the other hand, are stunning. The fight scenes are great, with the choreography and cinematography working together wonderfully. I'd suggest that those responsible may have been joined at the hip for the duration of the project, but the only hips I was paying attention to belonged to Ms. Jovovich.

The opening "expository" action sequence was clearly supposed to set us up for a series of plot twists, crosses, double-crosses, and some sort of culminating revelation. Unfortunately, I started looking forward to the thrill that accompanies the unfolding of a tightly plotted feature. My anticipation set me up for a tightly delivered one-two punch of stale dialog and transparent plotting, leaving me disappointed. "Oh, they betrayed her. Yeah, saw that coming. Oh, he's not what they say he is. Saw that too. Oh, he's a vampire. I'm bored. Maybe they'll start fighting again."

Should you see it? Definitely. On video. Or maybe wait for it to come on TV. It's really not necessary to see it in the theater, unless you're desperate to see a vampire-themed action film this weekend on a big screen, or (like me) need something to blog about.

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