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Seeing in a violet flux

The only good thing about the flu is getting better. Which I seem to be doing. I think.

Anyway, I felt well enough to watch a DVD last night: UltraViolet. It’s kind of the second of a pair of films I Netflix’d (after Elliot mentioned them)—the first one in the pair being Aeon Flux.

Interestingly, both films play on the comic-book genre (UltraViolet's opening credits carry comic-book images and Aeon Flux is based on MTV’s comic-toon). Both take place in the future and feature uber-strong and equally uber-troubled female heroes in a world gone somewhat amuck. Both women have tech-enhanced strengths and abilities that serve them well as they both begin as somewhat ruthless assassins. Both work for organizations that most likely began with honorable intentions but have somehow lost their way, making them barely distinguishable from their enemies (especially in motive and method). Both women begin to make a series of decisions of conscience that end up pitting them against both their former comrades as well as their enemies.

As they walk the road to embracing their purpose, facing and accepting reality and truth, and making the choice to use their incredible power for good (even if that means being rejected by the ones they love), their hearts break and soften. Both eventually make the decision to risk their lives—to sacrifice them, if necessary—because they’ve discovered life (even of one she’s been told is an enemy) is worth far more than they realized.

Theirs are stories of repentance, redemption and rebirth (albeit ones of great violence)—and that is great fodder for God-talk (which both films have, though UltraViolet’s is more overt).

This is typical fare for comic-book films. Disappointingly, however, neither of these films is outstanding in that genre. Stylistically, both have some great and artful shots and the Matrix-like stunts and martial-art chorography are very impressive at points. But the stories and characters never deepen enough to be more than passing entertainment or wonderful eye-candy. That said, I’d say Aeon Flux was the better of the two but both are worth the rent if sci-fi, techo eye-candy or comic-book films are your thing. (Head's up: These films contain violence, sexual content and otherwise potentially offensive material.)

And that’s about all my flu-ravaged brain can wring out of these two films right now. Heh.

(Images: Aeon Flux images and poster copyrighted by Parmount, via Wikipedia; UltraViolet images and poster copyrighted by Sony, via Wikipedia and screencapture)