Film Review: Lucy
There was once a time when the term ‘high-concept’ simply meant the kind of film that could be summarised in one sentence. Days of Thunder, for example, is Top Gun with cars, or at least that’s what the producers most likely pitched as the overall idea. Something of a misleading phrase, given the fact that both those films represent pretty stupid, thoughtless efforts to entertain (although few could argue with the fact they do entertain).
Skip forward three decades or so and high-concept seems to be taking on a very different meaning. Inception provides a great explanation as to what we’re getting at – a film so utterly mind-boggling both visually and narratively it would take more than a few scrawled words on a cocktail napkin to summarise the overall idea.
Lucy, which opens at the UK box office on 22nd August, looks set to follow suit. In the latest outing from Luc ‘Leon and The Fifth Element‘ Besson, Scarlett Johansson is the star of the show, who plays the eponymous Lucy, a relatively normal young lady who finds herself thrust into the kind of storyline that could blow the brain of most mere mortals. Thankfully, though, it’s not long into the yarn before she’s no longer classed as just another average Jane.
She is forced to act as a drug mule for a particularly well-organised crime gang, with instructions to take herself and the package resting neatly in her stomach to Taipei, Taiwan, where, we can presume, some backstreet doctor is going to take the necessary steps to extract the delivery, hopefully without killing the protagonist. Little do they know that whatever is buried in her gut will begin to leak out and cause the most unpredictable of reactions, as this once-innocent female turns into a superwoman femme fatale, capable of beating the crap out of baddies and accessing more cerebral power than the rest of the world put together.
Quickly she’s learning how to write Chinese calligraphy, and becoming acutely in touch with the mysteries of the universe, all aided by some rather impressive-looking CG effects. Like we said, it’s hardly the kind of plot you can get to grips with in five minutes, and from our first impressions we’re keen to see how long it does take to actually understand exactly where it’s all going. One thing seems certain already, though: it’s certainly not a place many of us have been before, making for potentially the most original action-packed screen story in quite some time.