Giving It Your Full 10% (Who Put the Scar in ScarJo?)
Luc Besson is France's "high concept" director (and when I say "high concept" I mean that his movies are made up of interesting nuggets (and sometimes only a memorable line of dialog, ala Taken) and pads it out with a lot of obfuscation and action to fatten out the movie to feature-length.
His movies tend to be a bit on the loutish side, but he does, rather refreshingly, pay equal attention to the ladies. Movies like La Femme Nikita, Leon: The Professional, The Messenger, even The Fifth Element had strong female characters, and his last couple projects (directing, he's only supervising the "Transporter" and "Taken" series), barely released in the States were The Lady and The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec (which, I have to say, looks interesting). They tanked at the box-office here, so it's only natural that he go back to his action roots, this time with the latest addition to The Unlikely Action Heroes Club (after Bruce Willis, Nicholas Cage, and Liam Neeson), Scarlett Johansson, whose last few roles, perhaps out of career frustration in a male-dominated industry, have consisted of characters that are barely human.
|Lucy (Scarlett Johannson) being blinkerdly
That's some paperwork—one of J.D. Salinger's unpublished manuscripts, maybe. Because once Richard proves his ultimate douche-baggery and hand-cuffs her to the briefcase, things start to go very, very wrong. She's confronted by a swarthy band of body-guards—he's killed (no loss)—and she is dragged before Jang (Min Sik-Choi) who's just finished "Scarfacing" an associate in another room. At gun-point, Lucy is forced to open the briefcase (while Jang and the bodyguards protect themselves in another room) and she finds...explosives? That shrieking plutonium from Kiss Me Deadly? A better script?
No. She finds four zip-lock bags of spangly blue micro-crystals, that, when huffed by the most extreme of junkies, turns him into a laughing psycho. She is then knocked out.
(which is the way the world should work, actually). He plays Professor Samuel Norman in the middle of a perfectly-timed lecture (the class is, evidently, Exposition 101) about how human beings only use 10% of their brains (which isn't true, but he evidently has tenure, so no one argues with him). What would happen, he postulates, if human beings developed themselves to use 20% (like dolphins do*)...even (dare I say it?) 100%...of their brains? One suspects that 1) they would call "bullshit" on Professor Norman or 2) probably have nothing to do with this movie and build a better mouse-trap—a shot of which is inserted.
I should mention that Besson has all sorts of fun tossing in "found footage" throughout the movie of animals in their natural habitat and other things that comment on the film's story—for example, when those bodyguards start advancing on Lucy, we get many shots of leopards hunting gazelles, she being the gazelle, they being the leopards, if I remember the lecture on "analogies" in film-class.
|Lucy has something on her mind
No one has heard about body-scanners, I guess.
|The picture's not flipped. Lucy is on the ceiling during her drug freak-out.
The question is: "why?" Your brain will need to be at least 50% capacity to answer.
|Guns don't kill people. SMART people kill people.
|Lucy demonstrates the true meaning of the phrase "On the other hand.."
|Lucy does the NSA a million times better: tapping into and reading everybody's
cell-phone calls and texts. Probably still has a hard time figuring
out a phone-bill, though.
The movie ends with Johansson intoning: "Life was given to us a billion years ago. Now you know what you can do with it."
Yeah, you know what you can do with it, too.