“I am everywhere,” said Lucy through Pierre Del Rio’s cellphone. “I am Hercules!” cried Hercules.
READ THIS REVIEW IN:
French action director, Luc Besson, finally returns to his typical femme fatale fidelity after some flicks devoted to testosterone with his latest, Lucy—who completes his she-devil line-ups. Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) is Besson’s typical babe; but this babe is different ’cause she is a fatal super-heroine to use 100% capacity of her cerebra. Such premise directly leads me to Neil Burger’s Limitless; only this one is Luc Besson’s, and you know what that means.
The plot is simple: an overdose (in a miserable but ridiculous way) of a newly-developed drugs called CPH4 has led Lucy to her ascension and greatest god-like vengeance. Nonetheless, Besson beautifies it with high energy spent on action set-pieces that bridges Hollywood action and Asian gangster genre; making it a helluva actions with sci-fi and philosophy as its seasonings. Don’t worry about the 100% cerebral capacity things; it’s only a gimmick and Besson makes it easier to follow with Morgan Freeman’s on-screen explanation. Sounds like Besson’s trying to oversimplify the sci-fi things to avoid the audience for thinking too much and forget the essence of Lucy.
The point of Lucy is not the 100% capacity things nor the Kubrickian or Malickian pictures about the revelations of universe. Lucy is an enjoyable action roller-coaster that utilizes sci-fi and philosophy as a motor to pump up the adrenaline. And… believe me; ever since Nikita from La Femme Nikita, Joan D’Arc from The Messenger, Leelo from The Fifth Element, and Mathilda from Leon–as I recall, Besson never fails to blend action with everything to sell flagrant adrenaline booster. As he gives Scar-Jo a ride on his deadliest jet, he knows that Scar-Jo knows how to exploit.
Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller Running Time: 89 mins Written and Directed by: Luc Besson Starred by: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Choi Min-sik
Stills and references from:
Prior to Ratner’s Hercules, there was Harlin’s Legend of Hercules, that ended up become this year’s megaflop (adding another ‘flop’ to Harlin’s resume). No doubt, Ratner’s collaboration with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson—with extremely bigger muscles, actions, armies and Hercules (literally)—is definitely a hard hit of the People’s Elbow to Harlin-Lutz’s Hercules.
The Rock’s Hercules is a ‘without-further-ado’ being, after finishing his legendary deeds, Hercules is summoned to Thrace by Cotys (John Hurt) who wages war against Rhesus and his tattooed barbaric army. The action goes as straightforwardly as the classic plot; it’s enjoyable but elegant. Surprisingly, as a post-300 action colossal, Hercules doesn’t adapt the slo-mo action slug, but rather exploiting traditional and practical art of actions. In addition, most of the massive battles are shot in a daylight plain that makes Hercules’ oily skin shines; and not in a dark green-screened field (like in The Legend of Hercules). At the top of everything, The Rock’s enjoying every bit of the smack-and-bash action is this film’s signature—let’s say, it’s The Rock’s Rock Bottom.
I wouldn’t say this second Hercules of this year is a decent film—it’s an OK one. However, it still has (at least) brains in it compared to the you-know-who-explode-things film. As a late-summer action, Hercules is only better than other ‘flops’ I mentioned before and not more. And, most obviously, this Hercules has KO’d the other Hercules in this year’s battle of Hercules.
Action, Adventure Running Time: 98 mins Directed by: Brett Ratner Written by: Ryan J. Condal, Evan Spiliotopoulos based on graphic novel by Steve Moore Starred by: Dwayne Johnson, John Hurt, Rufus Sewell, Ian McShane, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal
Stills and references from: