It all started because I was on vacation and the wife wanted to check out the “Modernism in the Pacific Northwest” exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum downtown.
“I have a work event down there,” she said. “You can take the bus with me and hang out at the library until I’m done, and then we can go to the museum and maybe have dinner.”
It sounded like a great idea and we both love to visit downtown Seattle when we can, so off we went at 10:00 in the morning on the 545. I got off at the stop for Pike Street Market and the wife went on, and I headed toward the market for lunch at my favorite sandwich counter. The market was flooded with tourists, as you can imagine, and I kept getting bumped and shoved and knocked and pressed and intercepted and it just became too much, too many inputs and not enough time between them for me to regain my comfort.
After lunch and the library and a coffee, I was tired and wanted to go home, and finally the wife, weary of her busy day, met me at the SAM and we trudged through the exhibits.
“I’m not hungry and it’s too early for dinner anyway,” she said after we finished our brief tour. “Do you want to go home?”
It was 4:30 PM and I knew the bus ride home would be long and uncomfortable.
“No, let’s go see a movie,” I said. “We can go see LUCY or that new Woody Allen movie.”
We picked LUCY, and I kind of wish we had taken the bus ride home instead.
I like Luc Besson. I really do. He’s made some great movies and some not-great movies, and I usually enjoy them all. But this one, well, it started off great. Scarlett Johansson is pretty spectacular in the first act, in the scenes leading up to what the movie is about. She has moments of real terror that are so believable, I had to wonder what she thought about in order to do the scene. (Probably the dailies.)
After that, it’s whoooosh down to the end, with scenes that make me wonder: if flipping over is a common feature of French cars; why the French police would have a shootout in a centuries-old university full of antiquities; why the French police would let the bad guys go after Lucy lifts them into the air; why Lucy didn’t just kill all the bad guys.
There are a lot of whys, including “why did Scarlett Johansson do this movie?” And then I remembered UNDER THE SKIN and gave myself a slight nod of realization.
The theater was an old-school theater with flat floors but new-school ticket prices and aloof ticket takers. Realizing that I paid $22 for the two of us to see LUCY was a real kick in the gut, and unlike the titular character, I didn’t enter a new plane of intelligent existence afterward. Quite the opposite, in fact.