Ultraviolet (2006) movie poster

(2006) dir. Kurt Wimmer
viewed: 07/23/06

Number two in my mini-marathon of bad modern science fiction featuring hot, kick-ass babes.  It would actually be interesting to trace this back historically.  I am sure that Sigourney Weaver in Aliens (1986) is the real progenitor, but this is a much evolved form, one in which it matters less and less how “real” or emotional the character is.  In fact, the character in some ways probably channels more of the Clint Eastwood’s “Man with No Name” in a sense or maybe even his Dirty Harry character.  They are tough as shit and will kill the entire populace of vampire/zombie/mutant/werewolf/bad guys if they have to.

But ultimately, they are good guys.  They don’t usually suffer from moral ambiguity, though their worlds may make it hard to understand what is right and what is wrong.

This film is pretty dang bad.  Let’s face it, Milla Jovovich is not a top caliber star for several reasons, but she does have the sci-fi pedigree of The Fifth Element (1998), which I think is one of the great pleasures of modern sci-fi much to the chagrin of any of my friends who find the genre uniquely intellectual, and the Resident Evil series in which she seems to be soon starring in a third incarnation.  She’s pretty awful.  But she fits the part, tall and lean and acrobatic enough.  She looks alright.

The visuals don’t even pretend to try and render reality.  It’s all just some guy’s (or a whole team of guys’) computers at work, making some highly stylized green-screen set against which highly stylized shooting and slashing and explosions are happening.  If the budget were higher, who knows what it would have looked like.  But I am willing to think that this film could be the future’s version of bad 1950’s science fiction.  There is so much pretence and design that it muffles the fact that this has a seriously over-wrought and hackneyed plot line that it’s not even worth trying to figure out.

For bad science fiction, this is a pretty good sampling.  It doesn’t really make you think or anything.  It just kicks up a lot of computer graphics at you.

One big difference from these films and those of the 1980’s is that the heroine would have at one time had a obligitory nude scene.  From a perspective of non-exploitation and the bullshit about such a requirement in the past versus now, that is a good improvement.  From a cheap thrill, low-brow evaluation, it certainly couldn’t have hurt this film though.

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