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

Celebrities show solidarity with Women's March
Celebrities show solidarity with Women's March

Scores of celebrities attended marches in Washington and other cities Saturday joining millions of people across the country in a show of solidarity with the movement bringing attention to women’s rights the day following President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
'House of Cards' will 'Bring the Terror' in Season 5
'House of Cards' will 'Bring the Terror' in Season 5

As the nation watched Donald Trump being sworn in as the 45th president, Frank Underwood already was planning ahead. Netflix released a teaser Friday for the fifth season of its presidential drama, "House of Cards." Underwood, the crafty politician played by Kevin Spacey, will return to action on May 30, Netflix announced.   The teaser...
Wright State illuminates Modern Art
Wright State illuminates Modern Art

One of the terrific ongoing arts collaborations in the Miami Valley is known as CELIA. The innovative Wright State University program — the acronym stands for Collaborative Education, Leadership and Innovation in the Arts — benefits both our community and the school’s students by bringing top-notch artists to town to interact with...
Wright State expects fewer foreign students because of ‘Trump effect’
Wright State expects fewer foreign students because of ‘Trump effect’

Wright State expects to enroll fewer international students in the short term because of what provost Tom Sudkamp referred to in a trustees meeting on Friday as “the Trump effect.” Sudkamp made the comment, which he said is “commonly used” in higher education, just hours after the inauguration of Donald Trump as the nation&rsquo...
'NCIS: Los Angeles,' 'Crossing Jordan' actor Miguel Ferrer dead at 61
'NCIS: Los Angeles,' 'Crossing Jordan' actor Miguel Ferrer dead at 61

Actor Miguel Ferrer, who starred in the TV shows "NCIS: Los Angeles” and "Crossing Jordan," in addition to the film "RoboCop" and doing voiceover work in "Mulan," has died at age 61 Thursday, Variety reported. Ferrer had been battling cancer. "Today, 'NCIS: Los Angeles' lost a beloved family member...
More Stories