Lucy: Review

August 28, 2014 4:16 pm

There is a scene towards the end of this film, in which Lucy tenderly holds her finger out to mankind’s earliest ancestor. In this moment we are expected to feel the connection between the humans of today and the prehistoric creatures that ultimately formed and created us. Honestly, I half expected her to utter the words “…Elliot,” in a guttural E.T-like mumble and for them both to be taken away by an alien spaceship from above. It wouldn’t even be amiss in this movie.

Scarlett Johansson as Lucy

Lucy is the new Sci Fi, Action film from Luc Besson, starring Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman and Min-sik Choi. The film plays with the concept that we only use 10% of our brain, and explores what would happen if we unlocked 100%. When Lucy (Johansson) is captured by a group of profit hungry drug dealers, she has a special kind of drug inserted into her intestines which does just that. However, when she bites one of them after he puts his hand down her shirt, she is beaten up and the drug is released into her system, giving her full use of her brain. Women pay heed, bigger is not always better.

I was constantly conflicted when watching this film, because the first three minutes were a perfect combination of tension and good acting, especially from Johansson, as a mysterious case is handcuffed to her by her (boyfriend?) and she is told to deliver it to a cooperate organisation. But then comes the main issue of the film: Luc Besson. Now Luc Besson is not a bad filmmaker, the man gave us ‘Leon: The Professional’ for god’s sake. He just has a tendency to go over the top. In the first sequence we see after the initial introduction of Lucy, we see Min-sik Choi’s character order her to open the case as he takes shelter outside the room, Lucy looks up to see all of his fellow gangsters squatting together, hiding behind riot shields and pointing guns at her. It’s unintentionally funny shots like these that take you away from the story. A moment after that, a junkie is forced to take a hit of the brain-enhancing drug found inside, after a moment he looks at Lucy, then starts laughing hysterically. This would be somewhat eerie, if not for one of the bodyguards joining in, it’s not even one of those ‘we’ll all join in laughing so you’ll feel awkward’ scenes, it’s just this one guy, I feel like the actor had no idea of the context of the scene he was doing. After this sequence is finished Lucy absorbs the drug-again, in unintentionally hilarious fashion-and the film picks up. We see some visually stunning shots including the standout scene of Lucy driving a car at high speed through traffic and her body trying to fight off the drug on the plane. I almost got into the plot again, but alas, when you see several Japanese gangsters floating around a hallway, their limbs spastically flying in all directions and at the same time Lucy utters what could have been one of the best lines in the film, you have to let out a frustrated sigh.

Johansson carries the film and gives us some genuinely touching moments, like when she calls her mother while receiving surgery. If there was anything to recommend this film on, it would be her. Morgan Freeman pops up now and again as the scientist who (let’s be honest) is mostly there to explain to the audience what is going on, as only Morgan Freeman can. There are some rewarding visual aspects of this film, such as Lucy building the ‘super computer,’ and it is an entertaining film, but ultimately it’s nothing we haven’t seen before, and falls short to the superior ‘Limitless.’ It was apparent from the start I’d have to adopt a suspension of disbelief to enjoy the film, but when you have to clamp a hand over your mouth to stop yourself from laughing every five minutes, that’s when you know it’s missed its mark.

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