Luc Besson has never been subtle about the portrayal of women in his action films. They’re sexualized to such a degree that I think American audiences have thrown up our hands and just accepted it as part of his signature French aesthetic. French audiences might consider it more American. Listen, I can’t argue that The Fifth Element isn’t sexy or that his aesthetic isn’t strong. It’s very strong, and it has served Besson well.
Bouncing back to his ass-kicking heroine trademark after the poorly received mob comedy The Family, Besson is showing us the sleaze early, by including some surprisingly blunt and ugly hints of sexual violence in a green band trailer. To clarify: I’m not against putting things of this nature in films, but in a green band trailer I think it’s pretty gross. Those leg-spreading shots are really, really creepy.
Sleazy content aside, I like the casting of Choi Min-Sik, and I also like Johansson’s deadpan line deliveries: “Somebody put a bag of drugs inside me, I need you to take it out. It’s leaking.” The basic setup is interesting enough, and would make for a fun video game. Obviously there would be smarter and more interesting ways to explore this concept, as demonstrated by the film’s conceit of humans using “only ten percent of the brain’s capacity”. We all know that’s flat-out stupid, but maybe Lucy could be fun, if you can get over that. It appears as though Lucy’s brain power will be monitored throughout the film, but I’d rather see audiences get their brain power monitored during the film instead. Results could get interesting.
We’ll find out just how stupid this flick might be in August.