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I Am Not Saying I Love Lucy

After, and while, watching Luc Besson’s Lucy it crossed my mind again that sometimes you have to just take a movie for what it is. An escape from reality with ninety minutes of entertainment. I know there are movies that are three hours long, and require your full attention, and draw you in to a complex or enduring plot, with multiple characters and sub-plots. They are usually a different kettle of fish. I’m talking about pure, entertaining (I won’t say mindless) cinema. Sit back, and just enjoy. Don’t get too bogged down with the extent of the character development, or that sequence of events, or the plausibility of it all. Well, that’s the idea.

Some movies just want you in your seat, to watch them, and then to leave. You didn’t like it? Well, you’re not getting a refund. This is not the wrong size dress, or a sandwich with a hair in it. This is a movie. “Are you not entertained?” a certain gladiator once said. Well, are you? You think every movie has to be a perfect blend of character growth and substance of story? Nah, that’s often a lie. Have you been to the cinema recently?

I think when Steven Soderbergh made Haywire many thought he may have lost the plot (no pun intended). Perhaps not a great example as Soderbergh is a film-maker who can do whatever he likes. And not necessarily what we always like. I am one of those that enjoyed Haywire. A kick-ass, slick movie, where I did not have to worry too much about the dialogue and the story, but rather soak up the action sequences – which were strikingly good by the way.

Lucy reminded me of this, or least from the point of view of what I would take from this aesthetically. It also reminded me of Tree Of Life when that decided to just drop you from the narrative and take you on a journey through space and time {the comparisons end there with that one}.

It reminded me of Besson’s earlier work too. Of course it did. Anne Parillaud’s Nikita accepting her first task as an assassin, and taking that famous walk to her targets. And Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) from The Fifth Element quickly dispatching of the mangalores. There is even a sense of Leon (The Professional) in it’s one-on-many or complete corridor shoot-out action sequences. I am, though, cheating a little bit, using Besson’s prominently more popular work as examples.

But call it mindless, lacking in a solid plot, too deep with its explanation of the human life and time whatchamacallit, but Lucy is a return to form for the Frenchman. Like Haywire, I may not ever watch this again in it’s entirety, but will certainly be seeking out it’s flashier  sequences for repeat viewing.

Before this turns into a review I can’t finish talking about Lucy without mentioning Scarlett Johansson. There, did it.

Her career has been a mixed bag to say the least. A breakthrough as a child in The Horse Whisperer, then further impressive supporting turns in The Man Who Wasn’t There and Ghost World. Proved herself as a definitive leading lady in Lost in Translation, Girl with a Pearl Earring, and A Love Song for Bobby Long. Before turning her attention to the movies of Woody Allen via a couple of box office clunkers / comedy-drama forgettables.

This last couple of years Johansson has flourishingly taken to action hero and subhuman roles, significantly so lending her voice, ditching her skin, and now employing her full brain capacity in Lucy. The character Lucy starts uninvolved, and demonstrates genuinely shock of her tight spot. She then has to quickly adapt and come to terms with the overload of sensations from her entire life and the world around her. While all the while she appears to be an unstoppable fighting machine, understandable given the circumstances. Johansson transitions from the innocent to the over-emotional to the almost robot-like persona with great success. Had this been a review, it would be two thumbs up: one for Luc and one for Scarlett.



  1. Craig Kennedy Craig Kennedy November 2, 2014

    Thank you for being a voice of reason on this movie. The reaction among critics, especially male internet critics was ridiculous. I would never include Lucy in a list of great or even very good movies, but it was damned entertaining, end of story. I'm sure if I thought about the story for a minute it would fall apart, but I don't care. dozens of entertaining (and not so entertaining) empty movies come and go every year and no one seems to complain, yet they acted like Lucy was breaking some kind of cinematic law. I had fun with it.

  2. Robin Write Robin Write November 2, 2014

    I know. I mean I read from a couple of big reviewers {who I admire as reviewers} about how the inter-cutting between Lucy's capture and the animal footage was trying to tell us what was going on, as if a cheap trick. Come on! Either they missed the point or they are just trying to be obnoxious.

  3. MikeyFingers MikeyFingers November 2, 2014

    Haven't seen it, so can't comment.
    I did love Haywire though. And not just because the thought of getting beaten up by Gina Carano gave me a weird boner.

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