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A picture taken on September 3, 2013 shows US actress Scarlett Johansson arriving for the screening of "Under the Skin" at the 70th Venice Film Festival at Venice Lido.

LUCY

www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Vu081NOorA

Scarlett Johansson is everywhere. Even in Taipei. She plays Lucy, who's an unwitting drug mule for the Asian mafia until the trafficked drugs stuffed into her tummy start to leak and give her some sort of super powers - in a female replay of Bradley Cooper's Limitless (2011).

Next thing you know, the chick pumps up her brain capacity, shoots people like Dirty Harry, writes Chinese, stops time, changes her hair in a second like Mystique of the X-Men and finger-flicks people out of the way like Magneto.

Funny thing is, you've seen this before because it's a Luc Besson movie and he does only one kind of flick - the stylishly-cool-but-totally-insane urban thriller in which one person kicks the butt of many well-dressed thugs from the United Nations Of Gangsters. Among the baddies is South Korean star Choi Min Sik (Old Boy, 2003), who looks like he's auditioning to be the next international villain of James Bond.

Funnier still is Morgan Freeman in his latest wise-grandpa role as the professor who helps Lucy - after he deals with another super-intelligent being gone haywire in Johnny Depp's upcoming Transcendence.

UNDER THE SKIN

www.youtube.com/watch?v=NoSWbyvdhHw

Is this what The X-Files or Species would look like if it went art-house and turned into a Stanley Kubrick film? Remember Species? It is the 1995 flick in which Natasha Henstridge played a homicidal alien having sex with men.

Scarlett Johansson seems to be doing the same thing here - directed by Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast, 2000) - although she looks more like Scarlett Johansson saying: "Hey, I'm in another movie where I try to be an interesting actress".

In Kubrick-esque style, she stares full frontal into the camera, preys on victims on the lonely highways of Scotland looking like a Brit tart and gazes pensively out to the sea in a fur coat, perhaps thinking about Captain America 3, her next blockbuster.

There's also a mysterious motorcyclist and some kind of mind-trip thingy which looks like a Scientologist recruitment video.

But the main thing is that this is Sexy Scarlett up close, personal and both dangerous and vulnerable in a confusing way which requires 10 Panadol pills.

This article was published on April 9 in The Straits Times.

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