So I got a PlayStation 3 and there was this rebate for 5 Blu-ray discs – the catch was you could only select from a horribly crippled list of possibilities (and you had to select from different tiers with only a few titles available on each tier, making selection of 5 decent titles virtually impossible and causing this sentence to run on and on and on…). Anyway, I sent off the rebate 6-8 weeks ago and forgot about it.
This weekend a poorly stapled package arrived in my mailbox with my Blu-rays and I was promptly reminded that, although the majority of my selections ranged from good to entertaining, one stood out as the final choice in a no-win scenario:
- The Last Waltz
- Full Metal Jacket
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
- American Psycho (Uncut Version)
I had never seen Ultraviolet before today. I vaguely remember the trailer and had dismissed it as unwatchable junk. I was wrong. It is extremely unwatchable junk.
The gist of the story is this: sometime in the future when humanity has collapsed and rebuilt itself for some reason there was this genetic manipulation thing that made some people into super-awesome vampires who could totally kick-ass and were unstoppable mercenaries but then the government decided they were bad and started hunting them down and Milla Jovovich who was also a vampire lost her baby and got real mad and started fighting the government who had created a clone boy that had something in his blood that could cure the vampires or kill all humans so Milla decides to save the boy from the bad government and her clothes keep changing colors and machine guns fly out of her sleeves and she drives a motorcycle up the side of a building and won’t stop killing people with a sword that also flies out of her sleeve.
Got all that?
The thing is: I should love this movie. It’s full of all the complete nonsense I really like, but the execution was so boring that I think it actually lowered my heart rate. ANY of the Resident Evils are more fun than Ultraviolet (they don’t make any more sense, but at least they’re silly and have ZOMBIES). It was more like watching the visualization on Windows Media Player than anything else.
At this point I do need to say that I watched the “PG-13 Theatrical Cut” and that somebody on IMDb said that the studio ruined the movie by forcing the director to remove 30 minutes. Honestly, I don’t think adding more to the running time is going to help a movie that is essentially an adolescent sci-fi ass-kicking fantasy piece. I don’t need to better understand the intricacies of the story (I don’t care), the inner struggles of Milla’s character (I don’t care), or the thematic parallels to our modern world (I really don’t care).
What really hurt the movie from my point of view was that the action was uninspired. The fight scenes were generic, the shootouts were just noise, and nowhere in the middle of the action did I ever feel like Milla was in any genuine danger. In fact, most of the time her assailants would just gather around her in a circle and shoot each other to death while she twirled. I had no reason to care about her or what she was doing. In, fact, even Milla seemed kind of bored, like she was just killing time in-between Maxim shoots.
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. Ultraviolet was written and directed by Kurt Wimmer, the same guy who brought us Equilibrium (IMDb) – another vaguely thought out dark future shoot-fest where an emotionally-suppressed Christian Bale goes to war against society because it wants to kill his puppy.
I should probably go watch Highlander now, just to cleanse the palette.