Arts & Life, Movies

Navigating Netflix: Ultraviolet

Milla Jovovich has carved out an interesting niche for herself as a contemporary action star. It’s hard to imagine that this is something her peers expected when she started modelling in the late 1980s. Primarily known for the Resident Evil video game adaptation film franchise, Jovovich also made a splash kicking butt in movies like The Three Musketeers and Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element.

Then there’s the super-stylized science ficiton action thriller known as Ultraviolet.

Set in the year 2078, a global virus that gives the carrier vampire-like symptoms has ravaged humanity and subsequently been contained. The victims, known as hemophages, are rounded up by a group known as The Archministry and executed to prevent the virus from spreading. And even if they survive, hemophages only have a life expectancy of 12 years. Jovovich plays Violet Song, a ten-year hemophage survivor, member of the hemophage resistance and all around bad ass. She faces off against The Archministry over a boy and his significance to their leader.

The version of the world this movie is set in is an oddly antiseptic place. Stark. White. Almost like a surgery theatre. It’s part of the way The Archministry have “saved” the world. It is an odd visual style that gives the story an interesting feel, though does also work at odds with film at other times.

The story is itself, thanks to the attempts to get a PG-13 theatrical release, feels restrained. It wants to go somewhere it often doesn’t seem quite willing to with the action and never fully explains why the virus makes hemophages physically powerful with such short lifespans. That being said, the action side of this movie is still fun to watch.

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If you are familiar with Jovovich’s Resident Evil performances, you know she is more than capable of kicking a little on screen ass and taking some names. She brings that same fury in Ultraviolet, fuelled by Violet’s jacked up vampire-like powers and some stylish combat technology.

Collapsing swords.

Guns that appear and reload from out of nowhere.

Devices that allow the reversal of gravity.

This kind of stuff has certainly been used in other science fiction but when you add it to the Milla’s skills and the vampire powers, you end up with some entertaining, but weird, action scenes.

I’m certainly not saying that this movie is high art or a great example of brilliant science fiction. But if you are looking for something with a weird plot that tries to take the ubiquitous vampire tropes in a different direction and some unique action to kill a couple of hours on, this is your movie.


Ian Goodwillie is a columnist for the Spectator Tribune. Follow him on Twitter at@ThePrairieGeek and on Tumblr at

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