Action films bore me, says 'Lucy' director Luc Besson

Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:50pm EDT
 
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By Edward Baran

LONDON (Reuters) - French director Luc Besson's new film, "Lucy", about a woman who ingests a drug that gives her supernormal mental powers, says action films bore him - but his movie still has a spectacular car chase through Paris.

Besson, whose other sci-fi hit, "The Fifth Element" (1997), starred Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich, has turned to the versatile Scarlett Johansson to play the Lucy of the title.

Within minutes of ingesting the drug, Johansson can walk on the ceiling, and a minute or two after that she can gun down anything that moves. Eventually she can read minds, learn Chinese in seconds, stop traffic and drive like no one has driven since "The French Connection" - but this time the wrong way through the tunnels and arcades of Paris, without putting a scratch on her metallic blue Peugeot.

Besson, who wrote the screenplay as well as directing, started with the idea that the average person uses only 10 percent of the brain's cognitive powers.

"I guess we are not at the maximum so it's very exciting to think about it, what can we do more," Besson told Reuters in an interview in advance of the film's British premiere on Aug. 22.

The film is interspersed with clips from the animal kingdom, including some of dolphins, which intrigued Besson because of the capacities they have that humans do not, such as natural sonar.

"I can build a sonar but I can't have a sonar...so that was interesting for me," he said.

Besson's movie contains plenty of high-octane action sequences, but the director said that as he grew older he found he felt the need to "mix philosophical content with fun".   Continued...

 
French film director Luc Besson (R) and his wife and producer Virginie Silla pose for photographs during a news conference for his movie "Lucy" in Taipei November 1, 2013.  REUTERS/Pichi Chuang