From "La Femme Nikita" and "The Professional" to "The Fifth Element," writer/director Luc Besson has created some of the toughest, most memorable female action heroes in cinematic history. Now, Besson directs Scarlett Johansson in "Lucy," an action-thriller that tracks a woman accidentally caught in a dark deal who turns the ...more
From "La Femme Nikita" and "The Professional" to "The Fifth Element," writer/director Luc Besson has created some of the toughest, most memorable female action heroes in cinematic history. Now, Besson directs Scarlett Johansson in "Lucy," an action-thriller that tracks a woman accidentally caught in a dark deal who turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic. less
“Lucy has a fascinating premise and is visually delightful. But its gaping plot holes, lack of entertainment and bizarre progression make it a one time watch only if you're into unconventional films. ”
Director Luc Besson's LUCY is Scarlett Johansson's second feature this year after UNDER THE SKIN that draws comparisons to Stanley Kubrick, particularly 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. It's still largely a B-movie with stylishly shot action and chase sequences, but what took me by surprise was that it also ventures into the metaphysical. Besson juxtaposes the gangster stuff with blunt metaphors, like an innocent girl being dragged into the world of drug-trafficking is punctuated by a shot of a rodent clawing at cheese fixed atop a rat-trap, but soon we realise that these aren't blunt metaphors afterall, the filmmaker is pitting this crime-world microcosm with the elements of nature, something more suited in a Terrence Malick film. Besson constructs this film in archetypal B-movie tropes. The protagonist's unreal access to intelligence is neatly explained in the form of title cards (30%! 40%! 50%!). In a more self-precious film, such devices would have come across as lazy shorthand; but here, thanks to Besson's style and assured self-reflexivity, they come across as awesome. LUCY is a dumb movie juggling profound ideas and while it isn't an intellectually provocative one, it doesn't aim at being that - at best, it's a movie with attitude. Besson recognizes the cheapness of the film and is unapologetic about it. Instead of being persuasive about the heavy themes it touches upon, he fills it with abundant coolth. How often does a movie give you a slow-mo action sequence intercut with the transcendent stuff - the formation of the universe, the triggering of intelligence, the birth of civilization -- the stuff of quintessential B-movies and the stuff of Malick and Bresson? Perhaps one might argue that the film is reductive and simplistic with respect to its themes, but fashioned mainly as a dumb action film which knows its limitations, it's a hell of a trip. I like it when filmmakers aren't afraid to show-off and flash their idiosyncratic side.