review for Ultraviolet on AllMovie

Ultraviolet (2006)
by Jeremy Wheeler review

Over-the-top cinema in every respect, Ultraviolet is a wildly dumb chapter in the post-Matrix world of anything-goes filmmaking. Amped up on a highly potent mix of speed and lowbrow effects, this futuristic junker is a shock to audiences' cerebral cortexes everywhere. Whether it's the tongue-tied sci-fi talk or the goofy underlying vampire theme thrown in for no reason at all, Ultraviolet never fails to embarrassingly entertain even the most forgiving genre viewer. On the "acting" front, Milla Jovovich commands the screen with more of her comic-book posing, except this time the film's inspiration is fake -- as evidenced in the main credit sequence filled with made-up Ultraviolet comic covers. Maybe this misleading opening gimmick was the only way the studio figured they could explain what kind of mess was to unfold following the flashy montage. Either way, writer/director Kurt Wimmer really did once show promise after delivering the underrated Equilibrium to limited audiences -- but this hunk of glorious junk is what he calls a follow-up, never mind his big chance at a big-studio picture? Miniscule hints of the filmmaker's inventiveness pop up from time to time, but otherwise this flick seems to suffer from his own abandoned ambitions as an action auteur. Silly derivative dramatics weigh heavily on the pic's slow lead-in to the flaming sword finale, but otherwise there's always either an overblown fight fiesta or a half-finished computer-generated mess of an effect to keep things deliriously amusing throughout. Ultraviolet might not be good, but it is truly something special in the hallowed halls of no-rules cinema.