Ultraviolet: In this future, there is only one woman

I knew Ultraviolet would be bad, but I thought it would be funny bad. Instead, it was 88 minutes feels like 200 minutes bad. I know some people who enjoyed it as campy action fun, but I was just bored. I also don’t much care for the poster, which is a strange “look at the powerful woman who is the size of a twig” image.

But here’s the more interesting question: what does it mean when there is only one woman?

Violet, played by Milla Jovovich, is the only woman among all of the vampires. We never explicitly see a woman among the large number of faceless soldiers she kills, so most people would assume they are men. Her nemesis is a man, her one true ally is a man, and the child that is her hope for a better future is male.

There are women in the general public, whom we only see as a backdrop for the action. The only other woman in the film who speaks is a courier, who gets 2 sentences and is never seen again.

When I saw Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones, I was struck by how few women were Jedi. One woman on the Jedi council, 4 or 5 more in the big fight at the end. Annoying, but I knew how to interpret it. The filmmakers just didn’t give a damn.

In UItraviolet, Violet is effectively the only woman in the world. I have no idea what to make of this. Is she the only woman badass enough to survive infection with the virus that made her a vampire? Are women only worth viewing if they are the ultimate, most kick-ass people – and since women are weak, there is only one woman like that? Were the filmmakers just trying to highlight her isolation?

At the beginning of the film, Violet says “I was born into a world that you may not understand.” No kidding.

This was my first movie review post published on Heroine Content, a feminist and anti-racist movie blog that ran from July 2006 to May 2012.