Let’s get this out of the way. Luc Besson rules. He’s the Michael Bay of France. That means he technically shouldn’t exist. While his beloved homeland prides itself on its intellectual artistry and its singular French-ness, Besson makes crowd-pleasing low I.Q. action movies suitable for middle school boys the world over.
Not just suitable for middle school boys, but seemingly written by them as well. They’re often 80-100 minutes of confusing and boring posturing punctuated by a delightful and imaginative moment of cinematic exploding pleasure. Besson thinks in visuals and writes only first drafts. If you strung together only the good scenes from The Professional to Lucy, you’d have the world’s greatest, most frenetic 120-minute action movie.
Now, it seems, Besson is set to top himself. In 2014, he took the bonehead concept of the mostly forgotten Bradley Cooper thriller Limitless to an illogical extreme with Lucy. Where Limitless proposed the thought experiment “what if there were pills that made you really smart,” Lucy asked “what if there were pills that made you, like so super-smart you could be like a computer and like travel through time and shit.”
Spoiler alert: There’s one cool scene in the beginning when Scarlett Johansson is tricked/coerced into being a drug mule. From then on, every scene is stupider than the next until it reaches a pure and blissful state of dumb where she’s like a one-woman singularity able to communicate with machines and psychic her way back to the caveman days.
It’s a great movie to watch when you’re home sick with the flu or hungover on a transatlantic flight. It ends with such a dissatisfying thud. Scarlett Johansson is a transcendental genius god who is so powerful everything seems boring. Then the credits roll and you move on with your life.
Now, he’s announced he’s working on a sequel. Variety reports that Besson has written the script.
Where do you take a premise that’s already dead-ended? Once Scarlett Johansson is a time traveling, all-knowing god, there’s really no story to tell. If any dramatic tension arises, she’ll know all about it and travel in time to use her god powers and the problem will be over in seconds.
There’s never been a movie with more potential for episodic stupidity.
Sadly, they’ll probably make the sequel about a second girl who takes the smart pills and just re-trod the path forged by the first movie. Scarlett Johansson’s godhood will be ignored or only references in the most cursory way possible.
Oh well. It’s likely to have one cool scene.