Scarlett Johansson is everywhere right now, and it doesn’t appear that will change anytime soon. Between kicking ass all over the place in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and devouring hapless hitchhikers in Under the Skin, she’s waist deep in geekiness. And that trend is going to continue as she plays a supercharged drug mule in Luc Besson’s upcoming actioner Lucy. We saw the first official photo from the other day, and today we woke up with the first trailer for the August release.
Your first reaction to this video is that this looks like a Luc Besson movie. The French action auteur’s fingerprints are all over this thing. Cars are flipping, bullets are flying, there’s a tough-as-nails female protagonist, even the color pattern of the special effects calls to mind his last sci-fi effort, The Fifth Element. The second thing that comes to mind is that Lucy looks like Besson remade Neil Burger’s 2011 pharma-thriller Limitless, but added way more explosions and gunplay.
The story is and updated of version of that waking-up-without-your-kidneys urban myth. You know the one, where you come to after a night of hard partying in a bathtub full of ice and someone has taken out your vital internal organs and sold them on the black market. Only this time it’s a young woman named, you guessed it, Lucy (Johansson). Instead of taking something out, this time a group of bad guys, led by Choi Min-sik (Oldboy, I Saw the Devil), have filled her full of some kind of futuristic synthetic drug. When the package starts to leak, the substance changes her, unlocking the hidden potential of the human brain, which apparently involves giving her superpowers. That’s where Morgan Freeman appears to come into the mix, as a theoretical brain doctor of some kind who helps her figure out exactly what the hell is going on inside of her skull. It also looks like we could go into space, so who knows.
You can’t help but think that Lucy is going to be beyond silly. Come on, that one guys says that they’ve hidden something in Lucy’s “lower tummy.” Who talks like that? That’s hilarious. This is going to be so overly serious that you can’t help but chuckle. And that whole series of blinking eyes. Is one of them a cat’s eye? Please, please, please, let this be the modern adaptation of Dark Angel I’ve been waiting more than a decade for.
Besson has a good handle on the action side of things, but his story, characters, and everything else have always been suspect. I’m also afraid that Lucy s also going to be a horrible waste of Choi, who is one of cinema’s most underappreciated badasses. Perhaps I’m just being overly pessimistic and critical.
Lucy opens the 8th of August, a month that isn’t typically known for the best that the studios have to offer. It’s traditionally a kind of post-summer blockbuster, pre-end of year awards season, dumping ground for movies that aren’t as good as hoped. It will also have Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which opens a week before, to contend with, which could prove problematic.