You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

After 20 minutes, 'Lucy' script stops living up to Scarlett Johansson's potential

Review: 'Lucy'


Le schlockmeister Luc Besson has no beef with men and guns, or he wouldn't have made the "Transporter" movies with Jason Statham. Or written "Taken." But in the world according to Besson, older girls ("La Femme Nikita") and young women in wee skirts and stiletto heels, gliding in slow motion toward their latest deserving victims of firearm violence, carrying nicely polished automatic weapons in each perfectly manicured hand — that's the stuff, that's what makes Besson Besson.

His latest is "Lucy." It stars Scarlett Johansson and for about 20 minutes it's one of writer-director Besson's most efficient and enjoyable trash compactors.

In Taipei, Taiwan, a hard-partying 25-year-old American studying abroad has just hooked up with a new boyfriend, a man so sweaty and with such bad taste in clothes you know he'll die early in the film. He's a delivery boy for a Taiwanese gangster and drug lord (Choi Min-sik), and Johansson's Lucy is forced, in handcuffs, to deliver a briefcase to Mr. Jang's hotel room.

All goes poorly. The briefcase contains a valuable and dangerous synthetic superdrug. The criminals slit open the abdomens of Lucy and three other unlucky folks so that large packets of the drug can be hidden inside and then used later to service all the eager young idiots in Europe looking for the next high. The drug is a brain-capacity enlarger, allowing the user to exploit more than the usual 10 percent. The substance makes you insanely capable but a tad rabid. After one of Lucy's captors kicks her in the stomach, her bloodstream is suddenly flooded with the stuff.

She becomes a kind of superwoman. With the aid of a bullet-headed Paris cop (Amr Waked), she must locate the other drug mules and exact revenge on Jang, all the while ingesting more and more of the blue drug in what might be her final 24 hours on the planet.

I mean, whatever. It'll do for a grandiose action premise. But after a swift, absurd, sleekly mounted opening, "Lucy" runs into a wall, just as its superheroine is established as capable of limitless accomplishments.

When you have a protagonist who can see through concrete, overhear conversations miles away, time-travel, levitate her adversaries, read minds and feel gravity, for starters, where does a movie go from there? Lucy even communes (briefly) with dinosaurs and tells her mother, tearfully, that she remembers when she was a breast-fed infant. A kindly brain expert (Morgan Freeman, giving neurological exposition his very best shot) enlisted by Lucy cannot believe what he's seeing.

Neither can we, for different reasons. When everything and anything is possible, nothing feels urgent or truly dramatic. The movie devolves into a melange of digital effects and sequences of glamorous slaughter, as Lucy swaggers around, with that big brain, and slouches toward becoming a full-lipped deity.

For much of the actress's fan base, Johansson has been just that for years. She's quite good in "Lucy," working both sides of the street: plausibly terrified victim in one section, unfeeling bad-ass the next. But before long it doesn't matter much, which isn't how star vehicles are supposed to operate.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Springfield Entertainment

Hip-hop music has fewer drug references than any other genre, but still dominates
Hip-hop music has fewer drug references than any other genre, but still dominates

Think Migos and other rap artists mention molly and marijuana the most in their songs? Think again, because hip-hop has the least number of drug references compared to any other musical genre, according to a recent study.  Using data from Songmeanings API, Addictions.com analyzed eight music categories to determine which style’s lyrics mentioned...
George Clooney takes trip back in time through classic movies in new coffee ad
George Clooney takes trip back in time through classic movies in new coffee ad

Actor George Clooney journeys through a number of classic movies in a new coffee commercial for Nespresso. Clooney, with the help green screen technology, travels from a remote movie set through scenes of six famous movies to get to a Nespresso store for a cup of coffee, only to find out that Andy Garcia has made it in the end to the original remote...
End of an era as Ringling Bros. gears up for last two shows 
End of an era as Ringling Bros. gears up for last two shows 

It’s the end of an era.  After 146 years, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is folding up the big tent forever, shuttering the ticket windows and putting the animals out to pasture. The circus has been a staple of American entertainment since the mid-1800s, wowing audiences with an array of exotic animals, breathtaking acrobatics...
Will Ferrell reprises role as George W. Bush for 'Not The White House Correspondents Dinner'
Will Ferrell reprises role as George W. Bush for 'Not The White House Correspondents Dinner'

Comedian Will Ferrell reprised his role as former President George W. Bush on Saturday night to thunderous applause at “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner,” hosted by Samantha Bee. The event was taped as journalists gathered at the Washington Hilton for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Meanwhile, President Donald...
Dale Earnhardt Jr. pays tribute to dad on what would have been his 66th birthday
Dale Earnhardt Jr. pays tribute to dad on what would have been his 66th birthday

Dale Earnhardt Jr. took a moment Saturday morning to pay tribute to his father on what would have been Dale Earnhardt’s 66th birthday. “Happy Birthday dude,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. wrote on his Instagram page alongside a photo of himself as a child with his dad. It had already been quite a week for the younger Earnhardt. He announced...
More Stories