Lucy (2014)

Captain Phillips (88)

Luc Besson is a director who makes some very risky choices, and this has been both a gift and curse for him, as it can either give him a remarkable film, or a complete failure. Luckily, his latest film is the former, and while it is possibly one of the most divisive films of the last few years, Lucy is a masterpiece of modern cinema.

I can’t pinpoint exactly why I loved this film. Perhaps it was how Besson effortlessly combined French New Wave, Hong Kong action and 1970s Hollywood thriller. The story may be pretty inaccurate (usually pointed out by people who forget that this is a MOVIE, and not real life), but it is not the story that makes this a brilliant film – it is the way the story is told. It, on the surface, feels like another bland thriller about drug trafficiking, but instead it is a cold, clinical film that has a genuine heart hoping to burst through. Fast paced, but never sloppy and lives up to its genre by being genuinely thrilling.

I won’t deny that I never was a huge fan of Scarlett Johansson – I didn’t think she was a bad actress, just bland. I always thought she needed a great film to kickstart a very interesting career, and I would be hard-pressed not to admit that Lucy is that film. She is absolutely breathtaking as the titular character, and she is able to utilize her action film past and give a bit of acting to the performance, creating a complex and fascinating protagonist.

Love it or hate it, Lucy is an insanely fascinating, dark film. It uses its two leads – Johansson and Morgan Freeman – very well, and while it could have run a bit longer that its mere 90 minutes, it was still a great film with a story that while not quite as well-developed as I would have liked, was a smart, terrifyingly real adventure. A great achievement from Luc Besson, who seems to be turning his career around again.

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