Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Lucy (Review: Part 1)

This is a first for me, but I am actually going to do two reviews... or, rather, I'm doing a review in two parts. The reason I decided to do this in two parts had to with the actor Choi Min-sik's presence in the film. As a fan of a few Korean movies I have discovered the work of Choi Min-sik and I am very impressed with it. The guy can act. I mean, he's kind of like the Korean version of Jack Nicholson (back when he was in his prime) with the way he just carries himself and maintains an intense presence. Although I don't think that comparison does it justice, either. 

He gets dirty, too. Whether it is butchering women or murdering children, Choi Min-sik certainly hasn't shied away from being the very, very bad guy in many of the Korean movies he is known for. Of course, he has been a good guy, too. He's able to change his appearance to fit the characters he portrays in a way that really is uncanny. He just becomes the character and it is amazing to watch. You'd think that with acting chops like his he would have long since done the crossover to making American movies. However, the language barrier prevented him from doing so. While Choi Min-sik can speak English (as you can hear in Lady Vengeance), Min-sik is very much a proud Korean actor and utilizing the Korean language really is what he does best.

So I was very surprised when I found out that he would be starring in the English-language French-American film Lucy. I say "starring" because Morgan Freeman was really just there as another big name to help draw US viewers to watch a movie that is more or less a "Scarlett Johansson's Superwoman Vs. Choi Min-sik's mafia" excursion. While the movie largely succeeds thanks to Johansson's presence, it is also given a major boost by Choi Min-sik's ability to captivate an audience all without speaking a word of English. Had the villain in the film been portrayed by a lesser actor than it just would not have worked at all. With Scarlett Johansson's ability to go all godlike and Super Saiyan and shit, having Choi Min-sik in the movie to actually represent a fearsome (although completely human) character is a nice way to help even things out. Although it doesn't even things out completely since Lucy is almost a freaking god by the end. 

I even loved how they actually built up his introduction in the movie. It was an introduction befitting to someone like him and people who have seen his Korean movies will probably get more out of it than anyone else. I'm not saying Luc Besson is referencing Min-sik's past work exactly, but it did feel like he was trying to sum up the man's career in a few brief seconds as he was getting introduced in a big budget picture to audiences all across America for the very first time.

It is certainly a fitting introduction both for his character and for the actor. I do wish the movie around him had been just a bit more... Well, less Roland Emmerich-ian would be a decent way to put it. Of course, I thought the film kicked ass and I do recommend it, but I suppose you can go to next blog post for more details. 

Part two of my review can be found here

No comments:

Post a Comment