“Learning is always a painful process. Like when you’re little, and your bones are growing, and you ache all over.”
When I wrote about Luc Besson and La Femme Nikita, I said, “He embraces the big, dumb action and rides it to the absolute limit. And because of that, his movies actually succeed in becoming something more than that, better than that, smarter than that.” And the old chestnut of humans only using 5% of their brains, so what would happen if we used 100%, is the epitome of a big, dumb premise. Combining that director, with that plot trope, then casting Scarlett Johansson as an ass kicking super human using all 100% is kind of irresistible. So why did it take me a year to finally get around to seeing Lucy?
In Taiwan and hanging out with her new boyfriend, Lucy (Johansson) is tricked and forced into delivering a mysterious briefcase to a shady business man. When her boyfriend is shot and she’s dragged upstairs, Lucy realises she’s caught up in something extremely dangerous. Opening the brief case, she finds a weird, blue powder. A weird blue powder that turns out to be some new drug. A weird new drug that is soon packed in a plastic bag and sewn into her stomach to be muled.
When the bag ruptures insides Lucy, it sets of something in her brain that releases the full 100% of its power. Now, Lucy is basically a super human, physically and mentally superior to everyone she comes in contact with. Armed with her new brains, she goes on the hunt for the men who did this to her, while also tracking down Professor Norman (Morgan Freeman). A world renowned brain specialist, Lucy thinks Norman might be able to figure out exactly what’s going on in newly unleashed noggin.
Scarlett Johansson has already proven herself a more than qualified action movie practitioner as the Black Widow the Marvel universe movies, and she solidifies it even more with Lucy. And while things here get crazier in a different way to the comic book movies, she still finds a way to make her character, and the world she lives in, believable and real.
Luc Besson does action better than almost anyone, and Lucy is Luc Besson firing on all cylinders. The story is thin and predictable and by the numbers, but that’s OK. Because the story is just there as an excuse for the gun fights, car chases, fist fights and general chaos. But it’s only chaotic on the surface. Besson is too much of stylist to leave a single movement or piece of visual action to chance. Everything is perfectly choreographed to the tiniest detail, while still retaining plenty of life spontaneity.