Scarlett Johansson finally emerges as a stand-alone, female superhero this summer as a leading lady in Luc Besson’s action-thriller Lucy. In Lucy, the Hollywood beauty plays a somewhat “average” girl about town in futuristic Taipei until she falls victim to a top-secret drug mission, becomes a mule for the operation, and her prior mediocrity explodes into rush after rush of superhuman capabilities. Although ScarJo is no stranger in the action movie arena, as Lucy it is the first time she gets the limelight all to herself.
“Somebody put a bag of drugs inside me. I need you to take it out. It’s leaking.” This command, shouted at a bewildered hospital staff with the aid of a gun pointed at their faces, becomes Lucy’s personal mission as she discovers what is happening inside of her. She is turning into her own lethal weapon.
As Lucy’s superpowers develop, she teaches herself how to write in Chinese within an hour, she discovers she can control space and time, she develops telekinetic powers, and her body, such as her eyes, can physically transform on demand. Perplexed, flummoxed, and in need of answers, Johansson seeks out the God-on-earth-Morgan-Freeman character, Professor Norman, played by Morgan Freeman. Professor Norman specializes in brain research and is astonished by the powers exponentially obtained within Lucy’s brain. Due to the drug mule leakage, Lucy’s brain now has the ability to access beyond the mere 10 percent of a normal brain. “With all this knowledge, you can unlock secrets that go beyond this universe,” Freeman surmises in his best father-of-the-heavens voice. “I’m not even sure that mankind is ready for this.”
Writer/director Besson may be remembered most for his movies Leon: The Professional, La Femme Nikita and The Fifth Element, movies which indicate he is no stranger to portraying tough-as-nails leading starlets who can wield a weapon and win hearts, but the last few years have not seen the director be so heavy-hitting. This summer with Johansson as his leading lady, Lucy suggests he has hit his stride once again.
It appears as no secret that ScarJo’s training as Black Widow has really helped define her persona as a trust-worthy female butt-kicker. ScarJo seems to enjoy the role of a superhero, which is invigorating considering the meekness she portrayed so well in the movies of her youth, like Ghost World and The Horse Whisperer. Female superheroes are not absent in Hollywood, but it does not hurt to see more of them flood the theaters. So, when will Black Widow get her stand-alone flick?
Although Lucy may be criticized for mimicking the story-line of Bradley Cooper’s super-brain movie Limitless, and Morgan Freeman’s role may be unsurprisingly iconic, Lucy intends to be a vivifying techno-sci-fi action thriller that will elevate ScarJo to new levels. If the wait until summer is too long, check ScarJo out this weekend. Both Captain America: Winter Soldier and Under the Skin are due out in theaters.
Lucy, from Universal Studios, will showcase Johansson as a leading lady this summer, August 8. Check it out below!
Opinion By Stacy Feder