In 2078, a global pandemic has caused a vampire-like disease that gives superhuman abilities, fast healing, a vulnerability to sunlight, and longer canine teeth. In a dystopian society, a militant group called the Archministry is headed by Vice-Cardinal Ferdinand Daxus (Nick Chinlund) and it begins rounding up and exterminating the infected.
Violet Song Jat Shariff (Milla Jovovich) is in an underground resistance movement which protects the infected, called Hemophages. Violet steals a weapon designed to exterminate Hemophages and discovers that the weapon is a young boy named Six (Cameron Bright). Rather than kill the child, Violet makes off with him, thinking that a cure can be concocted from his antigens.
Violet confers with Daxus, who says that the boy is his son, but she does not believe it. She takes him to her friend Garth (William Fichtner), who says the boy has no antigens, but he does have a tracking device and has eight hours to live. Violet’s handler in the Resistance, Nerva (Sebastien Andrieu) says that the boy’s antigens are deadly to humans. Daxus reveals that the boy is actually his clone. Because the Hemophages are nearly extinct, the Archministry tries to engineer a new plague to keep its power. When Daxus refuses to give Violet the cure, she escapes with Six, but Darius shoots Violet and takes Six’s body away for dissection. Violet is revived by Garth, and she realizes Six may not really be dead. She storms the lab just as Daxus is about to begin the dissection. Violet kills Daxus and takes Six’s body. Later, he awakens, immunized by the virus in Violet’s tears. He may end in curing the Hemophages.
The film was written and directed by Kurt Wimmer for Screen Gems. There was a novelization written by Yvonne Novarro and an animé series entitled Ultraviolet Code 044 in Japan. It was shot in China, mostly in Hong Kong and Shanghai. The trailer was leaked on the Internet and the director asked for the clips back from several message boards until the movie’s release. Amazingly, they complied. The movie had pretty bad reviews, though it was better received in Japan. Director Kurt Wimmer asked Milla Jovovich to punch him to see how she would do in an action scene, and she gave him a black eye for days. She was the only actor he considered for the part of Violet. Basically, it was her job to look good and kick ass. She must have killed a hundred armed soldiers by herself.
The movie’s opening looks like it came from a comic book, but there was no such comic. Jovovich was unhappy about the PG-13 release and she was not allowed to see her own performance. She disowned the film after 30 minutes was cut, as did Wimmer. He did not direct again for years. Basically, the studio removed the background story to emphasize the action, making it rather incomprehensible. Many of these scenes were restored for the extended version for DVD, at least in Japan. Some of the scenes were actually released with unfinished special effects, but Jovovich and Wimmer were locked out of the editing room by Sony and could do nothing. It was not explained how Violet was able to change her hair-color and clothing from scene to scene. It’s kind of amazing that the Internet was more considerate and than Sony Pictures.