The film follows Violet Song Jat Shariff (Jovovich), a woman infected with hemoglophagia, a fictional vampire-like disease, in a future dystopia where anyone infected with the contagious disease is immediately sentenced to death. With her advanced martial arts, a group of rebel hemophages, and a boy named Six (Bright), whose blood may contain a cure for the disease, Violet goes on a mission to overthrow the futuristic government and defeat Ferdinand Daxus (Chinlund).
A novelization of the film was written by Yvonne Navarro, with more back-story and character development. The book differs from the film in a number of ways, including a more ambiguous ending and the removal of some of the more improbable plot twists. An anime series titled Ultraviolet: Code 044 was released by the Japanese anime satellite television network Animax, and created by Madhouse.
Ultraviolet takes place in 2078, in the years following a global epidemic that causes vampire-like symptoms, including super-human physical abilities, a healing factor and elongated canines. The infected "hemophages" die within twelve years after being infected. The "Archministry", a militant medical group headed by Vice-Cardinal Ferdinand Daxus, has taken control of the government and begun rounding up infected citizens and exterminating them in order to contain the virus.
Having been infected a decade earlier, Violet Song Jat Shariff has become a member of an underground resistance movement fighting to protect the hemophages from the government. Working with the resistance, Violet steals a weapon that was supposedly designed to exterminate all hemophages, only to discover that it is a young boy named "Six". Rather than kill the child, Violet flees with him, believing that a cure for the disease can be reverse-engineered from the antigens before he dies from them.
She eventually converses with Daxus, who tells her that the boy is his son, but she does not believe him. Instead she takes him to her friend Garth, who tells her the boy has no antigens and he has no value to anyone. He also tells her that the boy has a tracking device embedded in him ("so hot he's nearly radioactive"), that they can track him easily and he has only 8 hours to live. In the meantime, Nerva reveals to Violet that the antigens in Six's blood are actually deadly to humans. Furthermore, Daxus clarifies that the boy is his clone, his previous claim to her being a ruse to earn her sympathy. Since the hemophages are nearly exterminated, the Archministry intends to engineer a new plague to maintain its power. When he refuses to give her the cure, Violet escapes with Six and lets him spend his last moments at a playground. Daxus arrives, shoots Violet, and takes Six's body for dissection.
Violet is revived in the facility run by Garth, and she realizes that Six might not actually be dead. She storms the Archministry and reaches a laboratory just as Daxus is about to begin the dissection. In the ensuing fight, Daxus reveals that he uses enhancements he gained from an accidental exposure to the hemophage virus to aid in his rise to power. Violet kills Daxus and leaves with Six's body. Six later wakes up, having been immunized by the hemophage virus in Violet's tears. It is theorized that Six might, after all, be instrumental in formulating a cure for the hemophages, although it may be too late for Violet (who is nearing the end of her 12 years).Milla Jovovich as Violet Song Jat Shariff
Ida Martin as young Violet
Cameron Bright as Six
Nick Chinlund as Vice-Cardinal Ferdinand Daxus
Steven Calcote as young Daxus
William Fichtner as Garth
Scott Piper as Garth's assistant
Sebastien Andrieu as Nerva
Christopher Garner as Luthor
Ricardo Mamood-Vega as Song Jat Shariff
Jennifer Caputo as Elizabeth P. Watkins
Duc Luu as Kar Waia
Kieran O'Rorke as Detective Cross
Ryan Martin as Detective Breeder
Digger Mesch as Detective Endera
Kurt Wimmer (cameo) as Hemophage
Production began in early February 2004 and was shot in various cities across China, most notably Hong Kong and Shanghai. Production was finished in late June 2004. The film was shot digitally on high-definition video using a Sony HDW-F900.
In 2005, the film's trailer was leaked on the internet. Director Kurt Wimmer then visited several message boards and demanded all clips be removed in order to keep the film's plot a secret. The online fan community responded well to this, and all the clips were removed from distribution until the theatrical trailer was publicly released in January 2006. It uses "Clubbed to Death (Kurayamino Edition)" by Rob Dougan as the soundtrack as well as "24" by Jem.
According to Rotten Tomatoes, Jovovich was not pleased with the PG-13 rated release print. She stated that she and Wimmer had been locked out of discussions of the film in the editing stages, and had not been allowed to see her own performance, which she felt might have been improved if she had had some input.
Ultraviolet was released in North America on March 3, 2006. Response to the film was generally negative, with a freshness of only 9% (7 out of 76 critics gave the film a positive review) on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes. The site's critical consensus states the following: "An incomprehensible and forgettable sci-fi thriller, Ultraviolet is inept in every regard."
The film grossed $9,064,880 in its opening weekend. Ultraviolet grossed $18,535,812 domestically and $12,534,399 overseas, making for a worldwide gross of $31,070,211. The budget for Ultraviolet was estimated at $30 million.
The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on June 27, 2006 in North America. There are two versions of the film, an unrated version (94 minutes long) and a PG-13 version (88 minutes long). The North American, European, South American, Hong Kong, Korean Blu-ray is the PG-13 version of the film. However the Japanese Blu-ray contains the Unrated version of the film. The film performed quite well in the DVD market, grossing over $35.1 million in rental sales. In the end the film turned in a healthy profit of over $36 million.
The DVD includes a four-part documentary: "UV Protection: The Making of Ultraviolet" and an audio commentary with Jovovich. Some editions additionally feature some deleted scenes which were cut from the final release. But not all footage from the unrated extended edition was in the deleted scenes feature.Extended version
The extended DVD version includes additional footage, increasing the running time and adding more to the storyline / plot. In this release there are additional scenes which include:A scene giving more in depth information on hemophagia. Including how it elongates canines, improves strength, speed, vision, hearing, bone strength and regenerative abilities, but reduces lifespan to approximately 12 years.
A flashback that gives more background information about Violet and depicts all the hardships she went through because of all the hemoglophagia testing and how it resulted in the miscarriage of her unborn child.
A scene (near the opening of the film) which explains that Violet has reached the end of her lifespan, and has only 36 hours left to live.
A later scene shows Violet's reaction to her estranged husband's creation of a new life.
A scene which depicts a conversation between Violet and Six which develops their characters.
The chase scene between Violet and the soldiers of Daxus is lengthened.
The level of blood and gore is also increased by a small amount.
The amount of action is also increased by a small amount.