Review: Ultraviolet – Xenophobia (3/5)

Ultraviolet (IMDB, Amazon) is a story about Violet, an ordinary woman whose life changed when she was infected by a virus that turned her into a feared and hated hemophage.

Once contracting hemophagia, Violet was incarcerated and experimented on, and perhaps these experiments cost her the child she was bearing when infected, perhaps the infection itself did, regardless, Violet escaped and now she is out to steal the government’s latest and most deadly weapon in the fight against hemophages.

The hemophages have superhuman strength and speed, but at a cost; few live longer than a decade. Since the virus that causes hemophagism infect on blood contact, the number of hemophages should have grown had it not been for the government’s prosecution.

Like vampires the hemophages have pointy eyeteeth, but unlike the vampires they do not require sucking blood and taking lives to survive. They are far from demons, and rather unfortunates infected by a deadly and infectious disease, and the only demon thing about them is the demonizing of them done by the government.

You can read the whole review by clicking the below link, but there may be spoilers in that text…

On the surface Ultraviolet is an action movie with several very well executed fight scenes that takes the technology to the edge, but under the surface hides a theme as old as mankind itself; xenophobia, or fear of strangers.

Even though we never get to see a crowd throwing sticks and stones at Violet, we get to see what the government, presumably with silent consent from the public, does to the hemophages. “Forcing them to wear identifying arm bands and rounding them up in special camps…” Sounds like something we have seen before?

I would not call Ultraviolet deep or philosophic, but if it can argue successfully against xenophobia, I am all for it. In our age and time we have way too much fear of strangers, and given how we handle the fact that a fraction of fanatics from a certain part of the world might set off bombs in our home town — by fearing and restricting most everyone who has ever set foot in said part of the world — we need to learn to see the world in the perspective of the oppressed. It is doubtful, had the virus of Violet’s world been released in our world today, we would have done anything else than performed just as badly as in the movie.

Since I have seen both Equilibrium (IMDB, Amazon) and Æon Flux (IMDB, Amazon) it is not hard to draw some parallels between the three movies. The female heroine of Ultraviolet and Æon Flux, for one. The fight scenes, and usage of guns as a form of martial art in Equilibrium, and the equally astute usage of guns in Ultraviolet (even though there are no Gun Kata in Ultraviolet).

There are more parallels but they should be seen, so if you have not yet watched Equilibrium and Æon Flux, you should at least take a look at Equilibrium, which in my opinion is the most perfected of the three.

I give Ultraviolet a 3 out of 5 stars, mostly due to the action scenes but also for being a little bit more under the surface.

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