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Film / Ultraviolet

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"Hello. My name is Violet and I was born into a world you may not understand."

Ultraviolet is a 2006 Science Fiction / Action film starring Milla Jovovich as the eponymous Violet, fighting in a guerrilla war against the oppressive Arch-Ministry government in a dystopian future.

Violet is a hemophage, a person infected with a virus that produces symptoms similar to traditional vampirism. The infection confers superhuman senses, strength and agility, but is ultimately fatal. Violet became infected while pregnant, and lost her unborn child as a result of experiments performed on her in a concentration camp for hemophages. She is in the terminal stages of the disease, and her latest mission is also expected to be her last.

Violet infiltrates an Arch-Ministry stronghold disguised as a courier, and escapes with what is supposed to be an ultimate weapon, something which will kill the few remaining hemophages with a single blow. But the "weapon" turns out to be a child named Six, prompting Violet to defy both her own kind, who want him dead, and the Ministry, who want him back.

Ultraviolet was deliberately created to stylistically resemble a comic book, with brilliantly colored outfits and hair, and an airbrushed appearance to close-ups. As with many comic books, the action scenes are deliberately over the top. It was not well-received, with a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 9%, but some find it So Bad, It's Good or a Guilty Pleasure.

Also noteworthy for Violet having arguably the single highest body count of any character in film history.

In 2008, the studio Madhouse produced a 12-Episode Anime series loosely based on the film titled Ultraviolet: Code 044.

Not to be confused with Ultraviolet the British television series, which was also a modern take on vampires, but which could otherwise not be more different in story, style and tone.

This film provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Violet, of course.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Garth, after he saves V's life, has a tiny moment of this, after V asks why he brought her back at all.
    Garth: Isn't it... isn't it obvious?
  • Ate His Gun/Driven to Suicide: It's implied that V would have done this when she's in her Heroic B.S.O.D. post-Six's "death" and after seeing her ex-husband with his new family.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Daxus. It helps that he is a hemophage himself.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Violet's entire wardrobe is an example of this.
    • In fact, the real star of the movie is probably Milla Jovovich's abs.
  • Bloodless Carnage: The movie isn't bloodless but the fight scenes are inexplicably clean, even when our heroine is pressing that nice sharp blade to mooks in spotless white clothing. What little blood does result is usually obscured by motion blur.
  • Bottomless Magazines: People do run out of ammo. Occasionally. Semi-justified with the whole idea of "flat-space technology". Violet, for example, only needs to bend her wrists to have her flat-space wristband feed bullets right into her guns, which makes one wonder why not build a literal bottomless magazine to begin with.
  • Bullethole Door: A variation. Violet shoots at the hinge on the passenger side of her car. The door manages to stick until she slams the car passenger-side into a subway entrance, sending the door flying off.
  • Car Fu: Violet uses a sedan to crush a large group of mooks against a wall.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Daxus's flamethrower pistol, which actually fires twice. The first time is in squirting flammable gel, which provides Violet with her Flaming Sword. The second is when she then uses the flamethrower itself during the ensuing battle.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Daxus openly admits that he couldn't beat Violet in a straight fight, so he tries to use a flamethrower. When that fails, he kills the light in the dome so his own hemophage night vision will give him an edge.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: And how!
  • Cool Sword: Violet's sword, as seen on the movie poster above.
  • Cosmic Deadline: Which seems to set about twenty minutes in.
  • Deadly Dodging: Violet kills most of a group of gunmen mooks this way. It helps that they were stupid enough to stand in a circle around her with guns pointed inwards...
  • Death by Cameo: Director Kurt Wimmer.
  • Elite Mooks: The guys with katanas... maybe. You'd have to be either crazy-good or just plain crazy to be armed with a sword when everyone else has access to guns.
  • Extended Disarming: The computer attempts to tally all the weapons in Violet's Hyperspace Arsenal. It finally gives up and just says "many" in a very surprised-sounding voice.
  • Eye Scream: When two needles are injected into both of Violet's eyes.
  • Faceless Goons: The Ministry's Mooks.
  • Fictional Document: The opening credits show that the movie is supposed to be based on a series of comic books or manga.
  • Flaming Sword: In Violet and Daxus' Final Battle, they both wield one.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: One of the flavors of Faceless Goons. Considering how paranoid everyone is about disease in this era, it's probably semi-justified.
  • Government Conspiracy: Daxus isn't looking to wipe out the hemophages; he's pretty much already done that. He's created an illness that targets humans that will require all infected people to line up every day for a cure, thus allowing him to rule them.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: The Blood Chinois speak (very formal) Vietnamese. Violet speaks it badly.
  • Gravity Screw: Violet wears a gravity leveller on her belt that allows her to use this trope to great effect. Her motorcycle has such a device as well, allowing her to flee from her foes along the sides of skyscrapers.
  • Gun Kata: And lots of it.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: How Daxus goes out, while on fire no less.
  • Hammerspace: Used liberally. The hemophage strike team in the opening has shoulder-mounted ones that holds swords, Violet has her wrist-mounted Hyperspace Arsenal, Garth has an entire Mad Scientist Laboratory in a semi, Six is initially held in a suitcase, and Daxus produces both a flamethrower and sword from nowhere.
  • Heal It with Fire: In the final battle, Violet's hands are cut up pretty badly, so she fires her SMGs so she can use the muzzle heat to cauterize the wounds.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Violet suffers this after she believes that Six has died.
  • Hollywood Darkness: Averted. When the hemophages shoot out the lights, it actually gets too dark to see what happens. Given the amount of bodies on the ground when the lights come back on, we can guess, though.
  • "How Many?" "All Of Them"
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Violet caries a ridiculously large number of guns and her sword in a pocket dimension. This leads to a Crowning Moment of Funny when the computer in the Arch-Ministry building scans her for hidden weapons.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: Violet routinely takes out hordes of submachine-gun-toting mooks with her sword.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Violet's wardrobe even changes color.
  • Invincible Hero: Violet isn't really challenged by any of the enemies she meets. As a hemophage, she's far more powerful than mere humans. Even when confronted by a dozen hemophages, she kills them all in a single blow.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Violet. She's extremely mean to Six, but warms up to him near the end.
  • Kaleidoscope Hair: Violet, again.
  • Knight Templar: Daxus.
  • Mad Scientist Laboratory: Garth's semi trailer is a modern version of one, anyway.
  • Male Gaze: There are many shots of Violet's rear.
  • Mama Bear: Violet.
  • The Man Behind the Curtain: Subverted. Daxus is a great deal more dangerous than he looks. Unlike DuPont from Equilibrium, it's made clear halfway through the film instead of foreshadowed.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Violet
  • Must Have Caffeine: Daxus gets his coffee fix, even in the midst of battling hemophages.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Due to coming out during a spate of vampire action films there was no mention of the characters' "condition".
  • No-Paper Future: Violet has a bracelet that's actually a bendy credit card... which she uses to buy disposable cell phones, printed on paper.
  • Non-Action Guy: Garth.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: The movie only mentions the word "vampire" thrice, first in the exposition dump when Violet notes that it's a slur used for hemophages, and a second time (in Vietnamese) when Violet is confronted by the Blood Chinois. The third is towards the end, when Daxus points out she is one and so her helping a human child makes little sense.
  • Novelization: A book version of the film was written by Yvonne Navarro, which is based and expands upon the original, uncut screenplay.
  • Oblivious to Love: Violet seems completely unaware that Garth has feelings for her.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: The hemophages are infected with a disease that's been around since ancient times, creating the myth of vampires. This virus, however, has been modified in an attempt to create Super Soldiers.
  • Phlebotinum Rebel: All of the hemophages, but especially Violet. Six can be seen this way as well.
  • PietÓ Plagiarism: At the end.
  • Poison-and-Cure Gambit: Daxus plans to unleash a plague targeting humans, to which he has the cure. This is because hemophages are nearly extinct, and he needs a new plague to justify the Arch-Ministry's continued existence.
  • The Power of Love: Violet crying over Six's body brings him back to life... because her tears infected him with hemophagia.
  • Pro-Human Transhuman: Subverted.
  • Rule of Cool: The movie practically runs on it.
    • Violet and Daxus both wield swords that look awesome, but would be highly impractical in a real sword-fight. Violet's katana has a square-edged "chisel" shape, that would not only greatly reduce its ability to both cut and pierce, but also make it much more susceptible to breaking. Daxus' sword has jagged teeth like a saw blade, which would render it very unwieldy and actually hinder its ability to make clean cuts.
  • Same Story, Different Names: The basic structure of the story is rehashed from Wimmer's previous film, Equilibrium, with the colors ramped Up to Eleven.
  • Scenery Porn: Between the sleek utopian sci-fi architecture (some of which isn't CGI fabrication, but shot in real buildings), and the insanely vibrant color palette, every single frame is like wallpaper.
  • She-Fu: Need you ask?
  • Short-Range Long-Range Weapon: The mooks are so very guilty of this.
  • Shout-Out: One near-archetypical shot in particular may be a reference to Ghost in the Shell, to The Matrix, or to both.
  • Slouch of Villainy: Nerva does this.
  • Smug Snake: Daxus
  • Spiritual Successor: To Equilibrium.
  • Straw Hypocrite: Daxus. Turns out that not only is he a hemophage like those he hunts down, he was the very first one and let the virus loose in the first place.
  • Swiss Army Tears: Violet's tears infect Six with hemophagia, which saves his life.
  • Sword Sparks: Used to light the Flaming Sword.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Daxus ordering his entire army of mooks to open fire on Violet.... or so he thinks.
  • Transhuman Treachery: The hemophages. To be fair, the humans locked them in concentration camps, experimented on them, and have almost wiped them out.
  • Unorthodox Reload: Violet reloads her guns via tiny portals to her Hyperspace Arsenal above her wrists.
  • Vampire Refugee: Violet, for the last part of the movie.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Violet vomits after her first fight sequence, a consequence of the drugs she was using to disguise her vampire traits.
  • You Are Already Checked In
  • You Are Number 6: Literally true for the boy whom Violet abducts from the Arch-Ministry.
  • You Can Panic Now: A big part of the setting is that the government and the media have made politicized the hemophage issue to increase their power, to the point of treating them as terrorists/monsters rather than sick people. Daxus even has a cure, but is withholding it to support the power of Archministry.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: And red, and purple, and white, and...
  • Zombie Infectee: Propaganda has led many to confuse "vampire" with "zombie" - in the first scene, a cop cuts his finger on a hemophage fang and is cold-bloodedly executed by his partner the instant it's noticed.