Monday, August 4, 2014
When it comes to Scarlett Johansson, I have very ambivalent feelings. I wouldn’t call myself a fan of hers per se, but I have enjoyed a few of her performances. As Black Widow, she definitely caught my eye. Plus I am a sucker for female action heroes. This is why Lara Croft will always be number one on my list. That is because Angeline Jolie is a goddess to me. Anyway, so ScarJo seemed a good enough female action hero, which is why when Lucy hit the theatres this Friday, I set my mind to watching it.
Luc Besson directed Lucy is the second largest budget French film production of 2013. I won’t be surprised if the movie fails to recover the 49 million Euros it invested because Lucy disappoints on every point. Well, maybe a little less on the action front. The eponymous character is played by Scarlett Johansson, who is an American student in Taipei (we have no idea what is it that she is studying) who gets entangled in a wrong end of a drug deal that goes horribly wrong for her. Lucy’s newly acquired boyfriend who has dubious connections to begin with, works for a Korean drug lord – Jang played by the ever fearsome Choi Min Sik. I am sure Josh Brolin was brilliant as Joe Doucett in the remake of Oldboy, but Choi Min Sik will always be immortal as Oh Dae-su in the original Korean Oldboy. Lucy is kidnapped and is forced to become a drug mule, along with three another innocent people for a new drug – CPH4, which is yet to hit the market. The drugs are put in plastic bags and are sewn inside their stomach so that they can breeze past customs. However things take a drastic turn when one of the captors kicks Lucy in the stomach and the packet of drugs breaks, releasing CPH4 in large quantity in her body. Instead of dying from an overdose, her body almost reacts ‘positively’ to the drug and she develops superhuman powers.
And this is when the movie goes downhill. There is a particularly awesome car chase, in Paris, one of the busiest cities in the world and a few gun battles worth watching, but there are also ludicrous scenes, like when Lucy with just a flick of her finger manages to disarm all the gun-wielding bad guys and make them float from the ceiling. Such is the power of CPH4! Johansson’s transformation to an action heroine is very commendable indeed. She did the job as well as the script could demand her to do so. The few times when she needed to be emotional, Johansson brought it on headlong. The one scene that truly stood out for me was when Lucy realized that she was about to embark on a terrifying and possibly a one-way transformative journey and calls her mother. She says –“I remember the taste of your milk in my mouth ... I want to thank you for a thousand kisses that I can feel on my face." The scene was brazen, yet potently powerful.