Wednesday, 27 August 2014

REVIEW - LUCY (LUC BESSON)


As outrageous as Luc Besson's Lucy is, it at least knows that it's outrageous. Indeed, it fosters its own madness, making its concept actually easier to invest in as it thunders ever forward. One relents to its internal logic, or lack thereof, and it's thus that Lucy becomes the year's most powerful polemic against nonsensical spiritualism, if not its most persuasive. As garbled as its silly proposition is, Lucy eventually comes to argue it as a representation of the ultimate potential that humanity possesses. Scarlett Johansson's Lucy is a self-made deity - an accidental one, granted - in control of not only herself but others too, of her own environment and of theirs. And its theory regarding the insularity of the human experience, its existential notion that life as we understand it is itself validated by our understanding of it, Lucy seems to recommend that we just make do with what we know, and live that life to the fullest. That, after all, is what our heroine does. Besson's directorial approach mimics that of his lead: to keep hurtling forward with scant concern for good taste or good sense. As an example of stylistic wackiness, it's typically lame - as true as it is that Besson's devotion to his idiosyncrasies is admirable, it's equally true that said idiosyncrasies are generally pretty poorly thought through. His willingness to throw any and all ideas at his film - not quite 'whatever works', since some of it simply doesn't - is frustrating, in retrospect, but not hugely so, and in the instant it seems bizarrely appropriate. Like Lucy's fantastically questionable methods of achieving her aims, Besson's filmmaking choices get him, and us, to exactly where we want to be.