By Kate ‘ One Take Kate’ Taylor
Incredibly polarising auteur Luc Besson (Taken 2, Leon) returns with hyper existential mind bender –Lucy. Scarlett Johansson stars as an unassuming drug mule who’s forced errand takes a turn for the worse, yet unleashes possibilities she never before imagined. In what is sure to become a cult classic in future years; and similar to some of Besson’s other works, Lucy is a dividing watch. It’s expansive and well put together, with big locations, big characters that might be a teensy bit one dimensional but this isn’t something to be too concerned with when there’s big action to be had! A large suspension of disbelief will be required to go along with a few bits and pieces of this film; but really I think if you can go along with a beautiful woman being the Fifth Element that saves the world from alien attacks every five thousand years (ahem), then I think you can quit your scoffing for five minutes and jump on board with what essentially is a gritty and pretty scary situational action-thriller. It’s only as Lucy becomes stronger and more adept at evading her pursuants and the authorities that you need to make bigger leaps to accept some of the high concept ideas about life and human nature. But again I say…c’mon! You know Besson wrote this film AND the Taken franchise as well as all six Transporter films…right?!
So why are some critics and plenty of the people I know crying ‘boring!’ on this flick? Honestly, I don’t know. I really enjoyed it. I feel for a start, that Lucy is a BADASS – not just as a femmevolution once she starts using her ability, but before that, she keeps her cool and handles a pretty terrifying situation well; Johansson inhabits this character so courageously and perhaps with a little personal satisfaction. For a stunning specimen of womanhood such as Ms. Johansson is, I’m sure she’s had to battle against many a douchebag who has diminished her abilities based upon her physical appearance; as Lucy there’s certainly an opportunity for her to unleash and school anyone that will get in her way or underestimate her. Some fantastic visual effects ultimately assist with telling such a large piece of high concept cinema – even if the slightly gimmicky file footage and countdown do get a little much by the end…and Morgan Freeman, dear sweet Morgan. Need some Grandfatherly sense put into a situation? Bring in Morgan Freeman. It’s fun, it’s a ride and it certainly should be experienced to be believed.
Academic Area: High concept is the idea of a narrative that’s so unbelievable, yet in some cases not quite a sci-fi – but there’s a similarity in that as an audience member you’re being asked to take a leap, to join in on the game. How well a film is put together in the way it looks, the way people act and the way the story is written and delivered can determine just how far along you’ll travel with a concept. Inception is a fantastic example of a high concept film; it’s told seamlessly, is breath-taking to look at and contains characters that we truly care about. We’d need to in order to believe and follow along with what is really, a gigantic dream sequence for hefty portions of the film.