Monday, 18 August 2014


For a few minutes towards the beginning of Lucy, you might start asking some questions. Like, as Scarlett Johansson's helpless heroine is drawn into a trap that will result in her unwillingly smuggling a pouch of drugs inside her guts, why does director Luc Besson keep cutting away to shots of gazelles being stalked by leopards? I mean, the parallels are obvious, but really, why? What motivates a director to do something like that? What's the point?

Ninety minutes later you'll piss yourself at the thought that you ever questioned something so insignificant, because as Lucy barrels towards its brain-liquifying climax, the last thing you should be doing is asking questions. Besson requires you to let go of the armrests of your comfy cinema seat and allow yourself to be sucked into the maddest final act in mainstream cinema this summer, and if it doesn't make a jot of sense then you're not really entering into the spirit of things.
Don't worry about it. It's all fine.

As the unfortunate student who finds herself miraculously accessing the previously dormant 90% of her brainpower after the aforementioned narcotics leak into her system, Johansson gets her money's worth out of her Under The Skin performance. She becomes a stone cold killer, blowing away gangsters and trashing cars in Paris streets with the same emotionless demeanour with which she cruised Glasgow in Jonathan Glazer's equally crackers (but for different reasons) sci-fi horror. It's actually a bit of a shame she couldn't have been allowed to have more fun with the role, because it really is completely fucking ludicrous.

As her powers increase exponentially, she goes from ex-drug mule to X-Man, then all of the X-Men in one, then she's Neo from The Matrix, no hang on Bradley Cooper in Limitless, erm Arnold Rimmer in that episode of Red Dwarf where he downloads a genius into his mind and operates two computers at once wait a minute now she's Akira's Tetsuo no I mean Dave Bowman at the end of 2001 no now she's God and even Morgan Freeman can't get his head round it. And to think you actually gave a shit about those wildlife cutaways.
"Sorry, can you... can you start again? I lost you
when you grew an extra hand for some reason."

Considering all the madness on display, Lucy is occasionally a little po-faced, and it suffers from the invincibility of its heroine; where's the threat against someone who can manipulate space and time without getting a hair out of place? And considering her powers are apparently limitless, Lucy often fails to do the bleeding obvious simply because it's not convenient for the plot at that point. Still, by the time you get to the space-spunk and the dinosaurs it's absolutely futile to argue with what you're seeing. You're better off just devoting what's left of your mental capacity to soaking up the bonkers and praying they never make Lucy Reloaded.

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