Of the trio of recent big-screen leather-clad femme fatales--Catwoman, Elektra, and Aeon Flux--Ultraviolet takes the (cheese)cake by a landslide. Save your money for another videogame, boys.
Ultraviolet will make you laugh out loud, without a smidge of intent to do so. It's late in the 21st century. A portion of society has been stricken with a virus. Dubbed "hemophages," these people are outcasts of society and considered a threat by the government. Hemophages have similar disdain for the government. One hemophage, Violet (Milla Jovovich), decides it's finally time to take a stand against the government. What's she gonna do? She's gonna take it underground Grrrrh! Violet thinks she's intercepted the time bomb designed to wipe out her race when she picks up a briefcase, but in that briefcase is a boy (Cameron Bright)--yes, as strange in concept as it is on the screen. Violet refuses to let the boy be killed, calling him "the most valuable object on this planet," because what's in his blood can save her kind. So now she's fighting for two, as the enemy tries to stop her. Good thing she can morph into Ultraviolet to ward them off!
The blinding beauty of Jovovich is the exact polar opposite of her acting abilities. Maybe that's a little extreme, but come on, nobody sees her movies for her, uh, dramatic range. Lucky for her, it's a good thing little in the way of acting is required in Ultraviolet, beyond icy stares--with her freakishly green eyes--and ludicrous dance-fighting. For the androgynous Bright, it's been Birth to Hell, already. It's clear that he could be the next Haley Joel Osment, with genuine depth behind his eyes. But that won't come until he veers away from gimmicky roles--which may materialize in his upcoming indie Thank You for Smoking, in which he gets to play a normal kid for once. William Fichtner (TV's Invasion), as Violet's ally, wisely sits out the film's first half. He's actually a good fit here, but that's because he's an acting chameleon. He can make even the most poorly written character interesting.
It's safe to say that Ultraviolet is not exactly a bang-up directorial debut for Kurt Wimmer, who also penned the script. Coming off the heels of such enormous failures as Catwoman, Elektra and Aeon Flux, the film seems doomed for misery by using similar paper-thin plotlines and lackluster special effects. The effects in Ultraviolet actually reach perhaps a new cinematic low. They make the arcade game "Frogger" (which is no doubt in the midst of being turned into a feature) look like The Matrix. While hemophages have "enhanced speed" thanks to their condition, Wimmer whizzes through scenes almost ashamedly, making them so loud, it drowns out all potential flaws in the sequences. So, forgetting the storyline--from which nothing should be expected from the get-go--not even the action/fight sequences are up-to-snuff in Ultraviolett.
Hollywood.com rated this film 1 star.