Saturday, 9 September 2006

Ultraviolet (DVD) (2006)

"My name is Milla Jojovich, and I star in a movie which you may not understand", is how Ultraviolet should have begun. The movie’s heroine kicks ass in skimpy leather costumes, while being infected with an exotic mutant virus, battling shadowy organisations, and collaborating with rebel terrorists to bring down corrupt governments. No wonder we can’t understand the movie, but that’s fine anyway.

Kurt Wimmer's follow-up to cult favourite Equilibrium is a movie that takes the high concept route by posing as an adaptation of a non-existent comic book. He takes the conceit to its extreme, imitating the over-the-top dialogue, the overdramatic facial expressions, and overconvoluted, preposterous plot elements of your average pulp comic book. If you can’t understand the movie, it’s because he meant it that way!

What you can understand and appreciate is the incredible eye candy of Milla Jojovich and the action scenes she appears in. Well choreographed, the fights look very beautiful but are bloodless and lack logic. It's like the rest of the movie, in other words.

Read the original Ultraviolet review here

DVD Review

You wish Milla Jojovich begins her commentary with “My name is Milla Jojovich, and I star in a movie you may not understand”, but “Hi~ My name is Milla Jojovich ~” is quite cute as well. And that’s as good as it gets, because Ms Jojovich, despite her stunning looks, isn’t really suited for solo commentary tasks on DVDs. Paired with a director and a producer (such as on Aeon Flux), she can be entertaining and dizzyingly fun but alone, the actress is reduced to a succession of “Wheee” and “this scene was fun to do” when the action sequences begin, and silence when they end. Absolute silence. At times, I had to doublecheck that I was watching the DVD with the commentary track enabled.

Why is poor Ms Jojovich doing solo commentary work, you may ask. Production of Ultraviolet was marred by the fact that Sony Pictures had a minor loss of confidence in director Kurt Wimmer during post-production, and edited and finished the movie themselves, without further input from Wimmer. The director was apparently not invited for the production of the special features and interviews.

What special features, you may ask. The unrated edition (only available in Region 1) has a 30-minute making of documentary which comes with interviews from the producers and special effects designers, who try but fail to explain the movie well because they are not the director.

Reportedly 30 minutes of footage was excised from the movie. About 7 minutes have been restored by Sony for the unrated version, but we are unlikely to see the rest of the missing footage until Sony and Wimmer make up and release a director’s cut.

First published at incinemas on 9 September 2006

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