ULTRAVIOLET: Although the artwork in the opening credits would lead you to believe otherwise, writer/director Kurt Wimmer (EQUILIBRIUM) reportedly based ULTRAVIOLET not on a comic book but on John Cassavetes's 1980 film, GLORIA, in which a woman must protect a young boy who is carrying information sought by the Mafia. In ULTRAVIOLET's mid-21st century, a virus has turned part of the earth's population into "hemophages," vampire-like creatures with heightened speed and dexterity, and a fascist government is intent on stamping them out. Enter Violet (Milla Jovovich), a hemophage determined to fight for her people. Her battle takes an unexpected turn, however, when she finds herself protecting Six (Cameron Bright), a mysterious young child who was raised in a lab.
Tailor-made for young action fans raised on anime and videogames who want nothing more than to see a beautiful heroine leave a path of destruction behind her, ULTRAVIOLET cross-pollinates plot threads from popular franchises like THE MATRIX and UNDERWORLD. Creating a brightly hued, soft-focus environment constructed entirely with CGI and a green screen, ULTRAVIOLET's look is much like SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW (2004). Cementing the reputation she established with similar athletic, minimally clothed roles in THE FIFTH ELEMENT and the RESIDENT EVIL films, Jovovich will go down in the books as a sci-fi femme fatale for the ages. Her Ultraviolet--who inexplicably changes her hair color and outfits seemingly at will--is a lethal melding of Morticia Adams at a rave and KILL BILL's Bride. Pulling off moves that clearly demonstrate the training she underwent for the role, and usually with a bare midriff, she gives her fans plenty to enjoy. Wimmer wisely leaves the door open for further adventures in the saga.
RESIDENT EVIL: The Umbrella Corporation's Vault, a secret facility located deep below Raccoon City, is sabotaged and a deadly virus is stolen. In the mansion that conceals another entrance to the Vault, Alice (Milla Jovovich) lies on the shower floor, naked except for the shower curtain. She can't remember anything but, as she dresses, she recalls memory fragments. Then masked intruders burst through the windows. They tell Alice she is a Corporation agent living undercover in the mansion. She goes with them into the Vault to discover who sabotaged it. As they penetrate the Vault, trying to get to the Red Queen, the computer system at the heart of the facility, Alice and her confederates face many horrors--dead bodies suspended in water, blood-red flayed dogs, flesh-eating zombies, and "the Licker," a dynamically mutating monster.
Basing RESIDENT EVIL on the popular video game, writer-director Paul W.S. Anderson delivers a tense, exciting science-fiction/horror film. Anderson and director of photography David Johnson shot the movie in rich silver-and-black, so that its few bursts of color are striking--like the image of the blonde Milla Jovovich in a very short crimson dress, a trailing veil, and black boots, dragging a silver axe behind her.