(Why) I love Lucy

Yes, Lucy and I got on swimmingly. If you still haven’t seen it and are in the mood for fun, frolics and feminine grandeur from your local cinema screen this weekend, I present the below argument.

 

SUSPICIONS always circulated that Scarlett Johansson was some class of goddess, but it has taken hit-and-miss director Luc Besson to confirm this as fact. Johansson is now prime real estate in Tinseltown, and had a lesser mortal been cast in the role of a girl transcending her human limitations via a synthesised drug, it would be hard to see the worshipping public fall on board as it has to the tune of $170million in global box office revenues.

Lucy is unashamedly a star vehicle for Johansson, but besides her comely jawline adorning the posters, it also succeeds by being cheerfully freewheeling in its barmy sci-fi ambitions. Matrix-like action scenes rubbish the laws of gravity. Time and space are jogged through like Terrence Malick on espressos. Johansson, donning Louboutins and a little black number as her powers grow, is all straight-faced poise while she has her way with the universe.

Limitless (2011) played a similar trick by letting Bradley Cooper utilise all his brain capacity by way of a pill. Lucy, however, rides roughshod over such restraint. In Besson’s screenplay, packs of blue crystals alter our heroine’s very DNA to the point of omnipotence, turning the planet into her personal tablet to be swiped and paused and surfed at will. Silly mortals Morgan Freeman (the gentle professor), Amr Waked (the helpful Parisian detective) and a crew of nasty Korean gangsters can only look on in astonishment as they are left behind.

Mad, mind-bending and marvellous fun, as long as you don’t dare try to resist.

First published in the Sunday Independent

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Published by

Hilary A White

Dublin-based arts journalist and reviewer, specialising in film, books, music and human-interest stories. Sunday Independent / Irish Independent / State.ie / RTE Radio 1 / Today FM

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