Under The Skin [2014] ★★

Scunder-the-skin.27563arlett Johansson may be busy promoting her new movie “Lucy”, but earlier this year she was in a totally different Sci-Fi film called “Under The Skin”. I’ve taken many unusual cinematic journeys with so many different directors and enjoyed most of them, but I just couldn’t care for this one.  I find this distressing because, on the face of it, the film is original and intriguing: Johansson plays a mysterious woman who cruises the streets of Scotland in a cargo van looking for lonely men. Why? Well we learn right from the beginning that she is an alien, and what she does to these men, well, I guess you’ll have to find out. While Johansson tries her best to make her character come to life, I just couldn’t care less about the story or its outcome. Devotees of director Jonathan Glazer (“Birth”, Sexy Beast”) may disagree with me, as will others who find the mere setup of the film moody enough to satisfy them. I certainly savored Johansson’s unusual performance and the film’s eerie score. But the movie’s slow pace surprisingly tired me out. Even defenders of the picture will have to admit it doesn’t have much story to tell. In a funny way, it’s more interesting to read about than it is to watch. Judge for yourself.

Rating: 2/4

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