Just finally had the chance to see this tonight and I was very pleasantly surprised! I wasn’t honestly sure what to expect from the commercials, but it was much better-done and much less focused on over-the-top gore and violence than I had thought. Bravo to Kurt Wimmer for that!! And honestly, bravo to Mr. Wimmer for an incredibly well-thought-out, well-crafted, well-shot, well-cast, and well-executed piece of film. Amazing.
Milla Jovovich was perfect in this movie too, I might add. And I’m not referring just to her beauty. She completely sold the part of Violet; and her grace, timing, and athletic ability were such that I have a hard time imagining anyone else pulling it off as well. Hm. For that matter, I think this is only the third movie I’ve ever seen her in (the previous two being Zoolander (didn’t realize she was in that!) and The Fifth Element (Loved it Loved it Loved it!!)), and she has performed marvelously in all of them.
So once again, I’ll leave the synopsis and story to those who do such things better, but I will comment on the film’s goals. In the DVD features, it was stated that one of the purposes of UltraViolet was a desire to stretch and transform the modern science fiction film–to push cinematographic martial arts and story-telling to new heights. And to that end, I can definitely say that UltraViolet achieved success. The fight sequences were absolutely amazing to watch. Very intricately choreographed, beautifully shot and post-processed, the combat was something I’ve not seen approached since The Matrix series. While you might argue that Kill Bill had the same goals and achieved them, I honestly think that Tarantino was far too fixated on overwhelming the audience with blood and gore and therefore badly missed the mark that was successfuly hit by Mr. Wimmer and the UltraViolet crew. Yes, there were some rather gorey scenes, but UltraViolet showed restraint in doing such–focusing more on the action, choreography, story line, and over-arching themes than on the particular gruesomeness that so many other film makers choose to employ. I guess I liken Mr. Wimmer’s style to leaning more towards Hitchcock’s sensibility and less in Tarantino’s (for example–there are many others) reliance on visual ultra-violence–and I sincerely agree with this choice. I think that the mind of the viewer is not helped by seeing photo-realistic, slow-motion blood and guts and that the act of doing such only degrades from the action that is otherwise going on. Not to mention the resultant desensitization that is not-so-slowly transforming this generation.
Is it one for the kiddos? Nope, I think definitely not. And don’t get me wrong. Don’t think I’m saying you should run out and rent this film for your next Daddy-movie-marathon. There is much in this movie that is violent, disturbing, suggestive, verbally profane, and unnecessary. But as far as violent action movies go, it was refreshing to see one that showed more restraint, artistic craft, and intelligence than many of its peers. Nice job, UltraViolet crew. =:)