Scarlett Johansson is no fool. For years, the actress has worked her way up into the mainstream with Woody Allen movies, supporting roles, and following the trends---hence her role as Black Widow in Marvel's universe of movies.
With rising fame comes opportunity to have a blockbuster all to yourself, and this will be Johansson's first major attempt at doing so. So let's talk aboutBesson/Angelina Jolie thriller project [Lucy](movie:935973).
Before I watched the trailer, I was thinking about Salt, Angelina Jolie's similarly short-form titled blockbuster that lived in the shadow of the Bourne movies. After the trailer, all I could think about was how much we really did need a sequel to Limitless.
I know I'm not the first person to make that connection (how could you not?), but the producers had to expect this when they decided to center an entire film around the concept of "what would happen if we used 100% of our brains" (a concept that real science is sick of having to answer).
But this is a movie (well actually a superhero movie technically), and in the world of cinema, our brains are capable of turning us into godlike creatures with the ability to be hyper-savants and time lords. It's a played out story that actually seems to be executed well.
Unlike Limitless, the drawback has nothing to do with an addiction to any drug. In contrast, the implied problem seems to be that turning into a powerful being strips you of your humanity (take that [Man of Steel](movie:15593) ), and we see this clearly in a trailer that shows us nothing but remorseless violence spewing out of Lucy's character.
The trailer doesn't tell us much about what Lucy is really trying to accomplish or what the point is to her apparent journey to reaching 100% of her brain's capacity. Instead, we settle for the fun of watching a single person experiment with absurdly powerful abilities, and the trailer hints at a "secrets of the universe" angle that will probably get about as much lip service as the truth behind Peter Parker's parents.
The film is directed by Luc Besson, the man behind The Fifth Element and Nikita. His handiwork with near-future dystopias is clear here when you find that Lucy takes place in 2069 and seems to enjoy more exotic locations like Taipei.
We can't say much about Morgan Freeman as "the scientist," whose role seems to resemble a sidestep from Lucius Fox (Although, could you imagine Freeman as God in Bruce Almighty facing off against Lucy?) I don't like having to hear Freeman uttering such a cliched series of dialogue, but it's nice to know that Johansson has a pro helping her carry what appears to be an ambitious science fiction film.
I want to like Lucy, and I don't have enough information to swing one way or the other. I do appreciate the decision-making on Johansson's part, as she seems to grasp what it takes to stay in the consciousness of a fickle audience, but even the most talented actresses can get fatally undermined by just one flop.