French action auteur Luc Besson’s upcoming sci-fi thriller Lucy is a curious movie. From everything we’ve seen, you can’t shake the feeling that it is going to come across as a direct-to-video style actioner, which, honestly, most Besson films feel like. And the story is also built upon flawed, faulty science, which is sure to cause a problem for many viewers. Still, this could wind up totally fun and be exactly what you need in a summer full of bloated blockbusters, sequels, and rehashes. We’ll have to wait a few weeks, until July 25—moved up from a slot in August—to find out for sure, but here are a lengthy clip and feature for you to examine and try to decipher.
The story is based on the oft-spouted myth that we only use ten percent of our brains. When Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) wakes up in a hotel room she discovers that she has fallen victim to yet another urban legend. Her stomach has been sliced open, drugs inserted, and the wounds sewn up, thus turning her into an unwitting drug mule. But these are no normal drugs, they’re like the ones from Neil Burger’s Limitless, and when the bag ruptures inside of her, the pharmaceuticals give her access to the unused portions of her brain. As her mind expands, her capabilities increase until she can see things no one else can see, control the world around her, and basically kick a lot of ass and do anything she damn well pleases.
That’s where this clip comes in. Her powers understandably freak some people out, though she appears pretty calm about the whole thing, even as she teaches herself how to drive the wrong way down crowded Paris streets. This car chase is very, very Besson. You can almost cut it out of, or paste it into any of his other movies, even the futuristic Fifth Element. Though there are flying cars in that one, the two share a definite aesthetic connection.
This short feature focuses on the locations of the film, most notably Paris, as already mentioned, and Taipei. Johansson and Besson speak briefly about both cities, and the various ways they were able to use these specific places for their various cinematic purposes. And though it’s quick, you also get to see the most promising piece we’ve seen from Lucy thus far. Besson is known for being over the top when it comes to action, and when you witness a guy sliding on his knees down the halls of the Sorbonne with a rocket launcher on his shoulder, it’s really hard not to smile.