Luc Besson’s assembly line of action blockbusters has a mixed history. For every Taken and Transporter their is last years forgettable The Family starring De Niro and Pfeifer.
His latest opus headlining Scarlet Johansson follows a 23 year old student named Lucy who becomes unwittingly involved with a gang of ruthless gangsters. The plot involves Lucy being forced to become a drug mule, having a bag of blue crystal like element surgically inplanted in her body. The blue like ‘Breaking Bad’ inspired substance is released into her body causing the young girl to progressively exercise up to 100% of her brain potential. She starts with 10% and rapidly expands from a vulnerable emotional young woman, to a being of boundless potential. The cable leads at the films climax are a real giveaway.
Johansson is the films strength, this year alone she has featured as an Operating System named Samantha seducing Joaquin Phoenix in Spike Jonze’s Her, a mysterious Alien in Under the Skin and Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow in the terrific Captain America: The Winter Soldier. However after her initial convincing portrayl of a young woman in dire circumstances, Besson chooses to make her character almost robotic for the remainder of the films running time. A call to her mother referencing the taste of her mums breast milk signals a narrative that risks spiralling into stupidity. Freeman is on hand to phone in his performance as a wise old man, who is adept at a powerpoint and little else.
Armed with a ridulous premise that references 2001, The Tree of Life and Jurassic Park, you end up laughing at the screen for all the wrong reasons. The film is a box office smash. By the way, the myth that underpins the plot is scientific hokum.