Saturday, March 04, 2006

A Review of Ultra Violet

Very simple, if you like Anime and Manga, then you will like UltraViolet.

If you don't, you will be pissed off that you wasted 8 bucks.

UltraViolet is the closest thing to a live action Anime ever put on an American movie screen. In fact, the entire film is visually filtered so that the frames and characters appear to be slightly hand drawn; and in some close up scenes, there is a deliberate disconnect between the looping and the dialogue, as happens with an anime that has been dubbed into english.

The plot is straight manga, there is no story or character development; everything depends on your understanding of the frame of reference, and the cliche's that make such a world obvious ( and thus explanation unnecessary) to anime fans.

Truly, a film for the initiated.

Now, that said, if you happen to be a fanboy, this will have you drooling. In execution it's PERFECT. The cuts, the framing, the lighting, they are all pure anime. Even the dialogue (what little there is of it). There were even vast quantities of not-so-vaguely-NAZI-like bad guys. The only thing they were missing was big hats, and billowing cloaks (but they had cool shades, unlikely hair, and everyone wore stylish gloves so hey...).

Also if you like lots of action, wall to wall killing, and more rounds expended then an average kill in Viet Nam, this is your movie.

Did I like it? Did I hate it?


On the one level I appreciate it as live action anime. Taken as this, it is absolutely brilliant.

If you approach it in any other way it's an awful movie.

Update: I should note, there are very clear, strong, and blunt anti-collectivist, and anti-totalitarian messages in this movie (as well as anti-religious, though in no way anti-god). They are however SO blunt that I don't think most people will get them as anything other than a cliched story element.