Ultraviolet (2006)


(Note: This review, originally written last year for the White Plains Times, is being blogged by special request.)

This sci-fi potboiler about a struggle between humans and a subculture of diseased-but-genetically-enhanced people known as “hemophages” doesn’t pretend to be anything more than what it is — a convenient way for unlikely action hero Milla Jovovich to secure some health insurance in the gap between Resident Evil movies. Green-screen technology makes glossy, violent fantasies like this possible on a (relatively) low budget, but it also strips the picture of the kind of imperfections that make some low-budget science-fiction movies so entertaining. There’s no evidence of a human fingerprint on any of the impossibly clean white surfaces of the rooms through which Jovovich battles her way, dispatching armies of identical hit men with a flick of a sword or a hail of bullets, and there’s none of the choreographed pizzazz or visual flair that make Asian martial-arts epics so compelling. The film’s appeal is limited entirely to the star presence of Jovovich herself, sporting an impossibly toned body, some cool outfits and a determined glare. If she doesn’t get your motor running, forget it — everything else on the screen may as well have been designed by the guys at Apple Computer. It’s available in PG-13 and extended “unrated” versions. D

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