Lucy Kills This Guy With Style…

While we’re waiting for Scarlett Johansson to return to screens as the Black Widow in next year’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, we will be able to watch the actress kick butt as a far different character in Luc Besson’s Lucy, coming this August.

I’m wincing a little, because the premise of the movie jumps off from the outdated myth that we only use 10 percent of our brain capacity – and Lucy gains superpowers from unlocking increasing amounts of her cerebral capacity. But, hey, it looks like fun, and Morgan Freeman is in it, playing yet another authority figure, so what’s the harm?

In case you want to see more, here’s the first Lucy trailer.

Scarlett Johansson Finally Gets Superpowers

Scarlett Johansson has kicked more than her share of asses as Black Widow in her various film outings with members of the Avengers, Scarlett now has a summer movie coming out in which her character finally has superpowers of her own — in fact, she has a lot of powers.

In director Luc Besson’s Lucy, Scarlett plays an drug mule whose contraband cargo leaks and imbues her with any number of new physical and psionic abilities.

Perhaps the best news is that French auteur Besson is back in the action director’s chair after so many years of producing and directing subpar comedies like The Family. Besson is by far the most “Hollywood” of European directors, but he has a way with powerful female lead characters that is very un-Hollywood. The Fifth Element and La Femme Nikita are perhaps the best female-led action films ever made. And while Natalie Portman’s Mathilda is more of a supporting part in Léon: The Professional, I would add it to any list of the best action flicks with strong female central characters.

Now Scarlett should reap the benefits of working with Besson. This should also bolster the street cred of the Widow in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

I am really looking forward to seeing Lucy when it opens Aug. 8.

NIKITA 1.1: Pilot

If the third time’s the charm, what does that make the fourth time around – old hat? The latest iteration of Nikita (a.k.a. La Femme Nikita) takes the form of NIKITA on The CW. And while it is one heckuva sleek and sexy form, we’ve seen all before – and some of it (much) better.

The basic skeleton of the story remains the same as French writer/director Luc Besson created for the silver screen in 1990’s Nikita: A drug-addicted street kid (Anne Parillaud) is arrested for killing a police officer and sentenced to death. But a secret government agency sees something in the amoral girl, fakes her death and spirits her to a secret facility where she is instructed in everything from how to kill with her bare hands to which fork to use at a dinner party. Then she sent out on missions as a covert assassin codenamed Nikita. She falls in love with her cover and the man is executed by her government handlers, causing Nikita to rebel and escape. With a few variations, those events play out in the 1993 American remake Point of No Return (which inexplicably designated Bridget Fonda’s assassin “Nina”) and the TV series LA FEMME NIKITA, which ran for five seasons on USA and posited that Peta Wilson’s Nikita was wrongly accused of killing the cop.
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