Every so often, a body of work comes along that is truly a great example of a certain genre or medium. Often the producers of such work cannot recreate subsequent projects with the same quality no matter how much the fans the want it. Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element is a masterpiece in the science fiction genre that combines a fantastic story with brilliant execution. But many of his subsequent movies leave a lot to be desired. Lucy is a perfect example of this.
Scarlett Johansson stars as the titular Lucy, a girl caught up with the wrong crowd. She inadvertently delivers a batch of new drugs to a kingpin who then uses her as a mule to transport them. But Lucy is beaten and the drugs leak into her system overriding her neurons and activating new parts of her brain. She develops amazing powers but learns she must have the drug or her body will literally dissipate.
The move is odd and hard to describe. The goal was to be an intelligent look at something that is often theorized in science. What if humans could use all their bran instead of just 10 percent we currently use? But the movie isn’t as smart as it thinks it is.
The biggest issues are the multitude of plot holes. She can tell what’s going to happen outside a building because she can read everything around her? Great. But then how come she doesn’t know someone a block away is following her? This is just one of the many instances that Besson just changes the facts to suite his plot purposes. Even Lucy’s words ate the end of the film are contradictory to points the made earlier in the movie.
On top of this, the movie is interspersed with other aspects of the animal world to parallel human evolution. They are implanted into the movie jarring you away from the actual action of the movie. The filmmakers throw the comparisons in your face making sure you understand what they were trying to say. The movie is about as subtle as Shark ado.
The film tries hard to balance humor, action, and dramatic plot line but it can’t seem to handle all three. The climax goes very much into the metaphysical leaving you confused of its purpose. Had Lucy just been cool action flick or a sci-fi drama, think I would have enjoyed it more. And no, Lucy, I don’t know what you are trying to say.
Legends touts Sean Bean’s return to television and uses his notorious habit of dying in his various projects as hype for the show. The hash tags for the show? #dontkillseanbean
This is a stroke of genius and allows TNT to cash of Game of Thrones by directly referencing to being beheading in their promotional material. It engages fans and makes them invested in the show’s main character. Don’t kill Sean Bean!
How does the pilot live up to the wonderful hype and social media engagement? It’s a little under whelming. Pilots often are because they have to set up for multiple arcs and give you back ground. Legends sets the basic foundation without too much information. We learn Martin is an undercover FBI agent and he has an ex-wife and child. His world is then rocked when someone tells him that he is not who he thinks he is; that his undercover life has completely taken over his real life.
This is where the meat of the story gets interesting though the idea isn’t delved into too deeply. Legends (or their undercover egos) aren’t really explained. I feel like it’s much more than just an uncover identity and see some very Dollhouse-like aspects popping up in the FBI’s program. But the show is vague (I am hoping intentionally vague).
The pilot does help you connect to the character past the original Sean Bean base. Martin wears every man “Lincoln Dittman” who joins a terrorist militia because everything in his life has gone to crap. Martin is easily able to spin his story on the fly and adapt to surrounding making him a kind of super spy even though many of his coworkers don’t like him. This includes the female lead.
Alli Larter plays Crystal an exlover, current coworker who has trouble working with Martin. He goes off script often and will disappear from contact when he goes deep undercover. She is also concerned because he failed all but one psychological exam to be fit for duty. That one he passed? It claimed he was the best candidate for this kind of job.
The writers have no problem finding a way to sexy up Larter. Though she is a gorgeous woman and I am sure the male fans were excited, I felt like it demeaned her role as operative and as a professional woman. Hopefully, the show can create in her character a beautiful, forceful woman without too much gratuitous T&A.
Legends has lots of potential especially as the show expands into Martin’s various personalities and how they bleed into each other and his “real” life. I look forward to seeing how the next few episodes unfold.