Story by: Dean Crawford, Photos by:
Directed by Luc Besson
Action / Sci-Fi
There’s no denying Scarlett Johansson’s worldwide appeal as a movie star, though I sometimes feel that her popularity derives from her looks rather than her skills. I’m not saying she isn’t a good actress, because I thought she was excellent in “Lost in Translation” (2003), and let’s not forget she starred in one of the Coen Brothers’ best films, “The Man Who Wasn’t There” (2001). She excelled again in Jonathan Glazer’s amazing “Under the Skin” (2013), but that was a micro-budget film unlikely to have been seen by the masses. Despite carrying that movie, I never really think of Johansson as a leading lady. However, that might be about to change with her starring role in Luc Beeson’s newest action film, “Lucy.”
The film has a synopsis that makes it sound like a prequel to the “X-Men” movies, with its website telling us that Lucy is “a woman accidentally caught in a dark deal who turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.” Johansson plays the title character, while Morgan Freeman is Professor Norman and Korea’s very own Choi Min-sik plays drug lord Mr. Jang. From the frenetic first trailer, it appears that not only does Lucy gain a superior intellect, she also has some kind of telekinetic ability, meaning she can bat enemies away with a single flick of her finger.
It looks like a very interesting prospect, and it’s great to see a new action film with a female lead. If you think that’s no big deal, I would ask how many female-led action films you can name off the top of your head? “Salt” (2010)? “Haywire” (2011), perhaps? (Johansson was good as the Black Widow in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (2014), but she’s no more than a supporting character.) The real answer is “not enough.” The days of Cynthia Rothrock kicking ass are long gone. “Cynthia who?” I hear you cry. Exactly.
Here’s hoping “Lucy” is the start of a new chapter as a leading lady for Scarlett Johansson because, as “Under the Skin” proved, she certainly has the talent.