2014 has been a successful and strangely futuristic year For Scarlett Johansson; from beguiling alien in ‘Under The Skin’ to the voice of an advanced computer operating system in ‘Her’ and now this.
The prospect of elevating our cerebral efficiency from the 10% or so generally associated (rightly or wrongly) with the human experience, to a full 100% and what one can only hypothesise would essentially achieve total enlightenment, infinite possibility and a true oneness with everything, is an intriguing concept on its own, so when you marry it together with a high energy, visual effects-laden action fest, what do you have?
Well, nine times out of ten you won’t have me watching it, that’s what, but in this case, you have the latest Luc Besson offering ‘Lucy’ and it’s surprisingly excellent.
Scarlett Johansson plays the film’s lead, a girl that gets caught up in a rather sinister plot to smuggle potent, synthetic CPH4 crystals against her will, for a particularly menacing, Korean mafia outfit.
The ins and outs of the plot line are not particularly important as ‘Lucy’ is to all intents and purposes a sequence of highly-charged, visually stimulating set pieces, blending gore and violence with dark humour, increasing both in intensity and bizarreness as the film rattles along and boy does it rattle along; never really once pausing for breath, the way all good action thrillers should be and it’s all over before you can say ‘6-carboxytetrahydropterin synthase.’
“Where are you?” the question is put to the suddenly invisible Johansson on her finally achieving 100% brain function and efficiency; “I am everywhere” is her ‘virtual’ reply and in ‘Lucy’ she is indeed everywhere.
In the manner that a world class footballer is everywhere, dominating every aspect of a match, so too does Johannson here, giving an albeit slightly silly master class in the art of being utterly compelling as a film’s omnipresent leading lady.
There is barely a scene without her in it and that’s very much the reason why ‘Lucy’ works so well from start to finish.
Great fun and highly recommended.