I think August might be my new favorite movie month: that special few weeks at the end of summer movie season when we can take off our 3-D glasses and relax in the AC with a few comparatively low-stakes little thrillers and action movies that wear their B-movie status like a badge of honor. And Lucy is looking to be the quintessential August movie. In this new TV spot for the Scar(lett) Jo(hansson)–starring thriller, writer-director Luc Besson imagines a more optimistic version of the 2004 Independent Spirit award-winning film Maria Full of Grace, in which a drug mule not only survives a ruptured pellet in her system, but gets awesome powers from it. Specifically, according to no greater authority than Morgan Freeman, she will gain access to 100 percent of brain capacity, permitting her to “unlock secrets that go beyond our universe.” Those secrets, according to this spot: martial arts, time magic, hair magic.
We may look back at Adderall-fi (Limitless, The Bourne Legacy, that Quicksilver scene in X-Men: Days of Future Past) as being the defining subgenre of the multiple-tabs era — who doesn’t want to learn Chinese calligraphy while telekinesising dudes through walls? Despite the fact that the whole “10 percent of your brain” theory has been resolutely debunked, it probably persists as a pseudoscientific urban legend because we want to think that all the signals we bombard ourselves with during every waking hour are somehow a form of mental training. It’s a cute fantasy but sounds a little exhausting, and I’m not surprised that ScarJo’s main objective appears to be to get the blue stuff out of her system with some manner of expediency. Anyway, this movie looks great, and props to Besson for continuing to be responsible for, like, 98 percent of female-led action movies. (Wikipedia is classifying it as a “superhero movie”; even better.)