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One-hundred years in the future a genetic mutation creates a race of humans called hemophages. The mutation gives them superhuman speed, stamina and intelligence. The government becomes increasingly afraid of their powers, so it sets about imprisoning them and eventually "disappearing" the mutants.
Violet and Nerva lead a group of guerilla hemophages determined to fight back against the government. They learn that maximum leader Daxus has created an antigen that will specifically target and wipe out the hemophages, so Violet and Nerva plot to steal and destroy it. One problem: they discover that the "antigen" is housed in the blood of a young boy named Six.
This leaves Violet with a problem: Her fellow hemophage guerillas want to kill the boy. But her maternal instincts won't let her allow it. So she soon finds herself at odds with both her fellow mutants and the government forces marshaled by Daxus.
Despite the danger to herself and to her comrades, Violet goes to extreme lengths to protect Six. Garth also puts himself at risk in helping both Violet and Six. The value of humanity in all its forms is affirmed when Violet explains her empathy for the boy: "I got sick, and somehow now I'm something less than human, something worthy of extermination."
Garth says that several hours of surgery and "a lot of prayer" helped him save an injured Violet. In a final showdown, Daxus asks Violet, "Do you believe in God? Do you think he's merciful? Do you think he'll welcome you into his arms like the so many you've sent his way?"
There are some indirect Christian allusions in the story, too, particularly in the discussions of Six's blood having the power to heal. In one image, he is hung by his hands and threatened with death, and the shape of a cross dominates the background. The building containing the laboratory where the blood antigen was formulated is laid out in the shape of a large cross (as are doorways within it). Violet receives wounds in her wrists and feet as blood is drawn for analysis. She later says that she hopes to have her body cured the way someone else—not named in this story—cured her soul.
A few times the hemophages are referred to as vampires—in Greek the word hemophage means, literally, "blood eater"—and they have overdeveloped eye teeth, but nowhere do we actually see them drink blood.
Violet wears tight-fitting and low-slung pants that reveal a large portion of her midriff. In one scene she must strip naked to go through a security screening, and we see full rear nudity in the dim ultraviolet light of the scanning machine. A sequence of comic book panels that run under the opening credits feature cartoon heroines who display cleavage and midriffs.
This futuristic martial arts flick features lots of stylized swordplay and gunfire. Little blood or gore result but the body count reaches into the hundreds. Violet boasts, "Killing is what I do. It's what I'm good at. ... You are all going to die!" In several scenes she wields a sword or automatic weapon, and after a lot of slo-mo fighting large groups of men lie dead. During some hand-to-hand fights we hear the bones in arms, legs and necks snap. In one fight she jabs the broken blade of a sword into a man's throat. During a gravity-defying motorcycle chase, police in helicopters fire machine guns at her. Other scenes show buildings or cars being shredded by machine-gun fire.
We see a bullet fired and, in slow motion, follow its path until it hits a man in the eye. A man is shot point-blank in the head, and later Violet is shot in the chest execution-style. No blood is shown in any of these sequences, but it is shown when Violet looks at cuts in her hands and when it sprays across Daxus' face.
A man is set afire, and a skidding car mows down a group of soldiers. Violet pulls a man's dreadlocked hair out of his head, and we later see her hands smoking from rope burns. During a medical experiment a man takes a circular saw to a boy's head, but he's interrupted before he makes contact. We see a medical probe injected forcefully into Violet's wrists and feet and blood drawn. The same machine sticks a needle in her eye. Violet cauterizes a bleeding wound with the hot barrel of a gun. A comic book panel shows men having the tops of their heads cut off by Violet's sword.
Crude or Profane Language
Dialogue isn't Ultraviolet's forte, but there's still two uses of the s-word and five of "h---." Other profanities include "p--ck" and "b--ch." God's name is misused a half-dozen times.
Drug and Alcohol Content
A weakened Violet injects herself with a red substance (most likely blood), upon which her strength and speed return.
Other Negative Elements
We see Violet vomit. Six stands on the ledge of a tall building, evidently contemplating jumping.
Ultraviolet is a mash-up of scores of other movies, with bits of X-Men, Elektra, Aeon Flux and The Matrix seemingly tossed into a blender and then thrown up against the movie screen to see what will stick. Not much, it turns out. For sake of comparison, Aeon Flux's largely uninspired story now seems Oscar-worthy when compared to this incoherent mess that exists only to set up numerous, over-the-top yet somehow completely unimaginative martial-arts sequences.
Anyone who puts the prefix ultra in a movie title is just begging critics to incorporate it into their reviews. So I'll oblige. In this case, ultrasilly and ultraderivative apply nicely, but Ultraviolet obviously deserves the title ultraviolent, too, which makes it ultraavoidable.
Other Belief Systems
Readability Age Range
Milla Jovovich as Violet; Cameron Bright as Six; Nick Chinlund as Daxus; Sebastien Andrieu as Nerva; William Fichtner as Garth
Kurt Wimmer ( )