I think I first took notice of Luc Besson in 1990 when I was working at a video store and was intrigued by the striking movie poster for La Femme Nikita. When I actually got my hands on the film it blew my mind, totally stylising and creating a new kind of action film I had never seen before. The Besson did it again four years later and made Leon: The Professional. To this day one of my most beloved films of all time and a masterpiece of character driven action. Just when we thought it couldn’t get better Besson releases The Fifth Element after another four years. That film redefined how imaginative sci fi could be and brought new attention to the stale genre. Besson continued fiddling with different genres in the coming years directing a series of mostly forgotten films but writing and producing many great action films including the first two Taken films. Not until now has Besson really returned with another genre redefining modern classic, Lucy.
Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) is an ordinary woman until a drug dealing friend of hers asks her to deliver a briefcase. A simple enough favor puts Lucy in front of a notorious drug boss who knocks her out, cuts her open and inserts bags of an experimental and very powerful new drug into her for smuggling. But when Lucy is beaten by thugs trying to find the drugs the bags break and the drug is released into her system giving her brain an enormous boost of power enabling her to do amazing things. Things that will assist her in getting her revenge.
Lucy starts off as a standard actioner but once Lucy gets the drug into her system she starts gaining powers beyond anything we thought capable. Reading minds, moving objects psychically, and eventually altering the fabric of reality and time itself. Johansson is unbelievable here as the everyday woman who is given the gift of ultimate knowledge and power and it is interesting to see how she uses it in her progression. Add to this the always wonderful Min-sik Choi as the creepy villain and Morgan Freeman as a professor who helps Lucy to understand the changes she is going through. Lucy is fast paced, full of action but also full of theological questions about reality and ultimately the meaning of life itself. A wonderful genre mash up film that is not to be missed. And the Blu-ray from Universal Studios Home Entertainment is simply stunning with great immersive surround. Highly recommended.
Available now on Blu-ray and DVD.