When Frozen hit theaters, it set a new bar for female empowerment. Princesses are no longer the "damsels in distress" of days past, they fight back hard, and do not need a prince to protect them. Elsa found that her true strength was with embracing her power and potential, not hiding it. Anna went on a journey very similar to what we've seen countless Disney princes do in the past. And at the end, we found out that it was the bond of love between sisters, not prince/princess love that would win the day.
Now, even though I loved the female empowerment themes present in Frozen, I did not care for the movie itself much, other than "Let it Go."
However, I recently watched [Lucy](movie:935973) from acclaimed director Luc Besson. Seeing Scarlett Johansson kick ass (as someone other than Black Widow) was a transcendental experience. Her super-powered form was a force to be reckoned with, and dominated every villain she came across.
Now, Luc Besson is known for his empowered female characters. Looking back, we see Leeloo from The Fifth Element, Mathilda from Leon: The Professional, and we now have Lucy joining this group of ass-kickers.
However, I believe that Lucy might be the biggest embodiment of female empowerment that Luc Besson has ever created. Now, sure, Leeloo could hold her own in a fight, and Mathilda was turned into a 12-year-old assassin by the end of Leon: The Professional, but they were not the symbol that Lucy is. Leeloo was supported for most of the movie by Bruce Willis' Korben Dallas, and served as his "weapon against evil." Mathilda, though awesome, was saved by Leon on multiple occasions and was not taken seriously because of her age by the older male characters.
Spoilers from this point on for those who haven't seen Lucy!
Lucy, on the other hand, is different. After accidentally absorbing a ridiculous amount of CPH4, an artificial drug, she escapes from her captors within minutes, gunning them down without mercy before stealing their weapons and going to the hospital.
Through all her actions in the movie, she never questions herself, never changes her mind, and is always in control (except for a small moment in an airplane bathroom, but we can let that slide). She takes down an entire Asian gang, several French police officers, and drives like a maniac. Only a few times in the entire film does she even speak to a male character, and even then, only for the purpose of doing something that benefits her, manipulating them like a pieces on a chess board, all for her own gain. Even the most central male character in the movie, Professor Norman (Morgan Freeman) is taken aback by Lucy's sudden and unpredictable abilities, despite being an expert on the human brain. The only other central male characters in the film are Mr. Jang (the villain) and Pierre Del Rio, and Pierre is the only one who helps Lucy because he has the connections in the Paris police that she doesn't have. Granted, she does kiss him, but she did that because, logically, she knew it would get him to do what she wanted.
Also, these scenes show her singular abilities:
Taking down an entire asian gang (after the wannabe rapist).
When she killed six men by shooting through a door.
Or the crazy mental interrogation of Mr. Jang.
She's merciless, intelligent (to the point of omniscience), a complete and total destructive force of nature, and she never needed a man. Lucy is the epitome of female empowerment in film, and easily takes her place among the likes of Ellen Ripley and Sarah Conner.
Any thoughts? Anybody think I'm totally off the mark? Post in the comments below!