Real talk: what was the last decent film writer/producer/director Luc Besson made? We looked at where things went wrong in this Assessment feature from last year. But really? “I always follow my instinct,” Besson told us in September of 2013. Considering that last good film might be 1997’s “The Fifth Element” maybe that instinct hasn’t served him so well? But he’s back one year after “The Family” with Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer that didn’t change anyone’s opinion of his late-era career trajectory.
This new one is called “Lucy,” stars Scarlett Johnansson and is about a woman who becomes a super-evolved heartless combatant after she is forced to work as a drug mule for the mob in Tapei. It sounds a little bit “La Femme Nikita”-esque with some “Bourne”-like traits: she’s been genetically modified to use more than 10% of her brain and therefore becomes extraordinary. Here’s the official synopsis:
From “La Femme Nikita” and “The Professional” to “The Fifth Element,”writer/director Luc Besson has created some of the toughest, most memorable female action heroes in cinematic history. Now, Besson directs Scarlett Johansson in “Lucy,” an action-thriller that tracks 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.
So is it Besson’s modern day “La Femme Nikita” with an updated twist? A spiritual sequel of sorts? That female-oriented action movie did put him on the map in the U.S., but it’s a been a long time since he commanded the cinema in the same way. Either way, a new, semi-NSFW clip has arrived (because of its violence) and you can judge for yourself. Or at least judge this first scene. “Lucy” co-stars Morgan Freeman, Analeigh Tipton, comes out July 25 and will hit on IMAX screens too. New photos below as well.