From the mind of famed French director Luc Besson, comes Lucy, part fantastical sci-fi part action blockbuster, which delves into the possibilities and capabilities of the human mind. Enlisting Hollywood heavyweights Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman, Besson has created a world in which ‘science’ is pushed to, and way past, the point of absurdity.
Hard party girl and unwitting drug mule Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) is tricked into delivering a mysterious briefcase to Korean drug lord Mr Jang (Min-sik Choi) by soon to be ex-boyfriend Richard (Pilou Asbaek). Lucy soon learns that this isn’t your run of the mill drop off, as the briefcase contains a highly valuable ‘super-drug’ called CPH4, which rapidly increases the human brain function to its full 100% capacity instead of the measly 10% we currently function at. While transporting the drug which has been surgically planted in her stomach, Lucy is beaten in captivity releasing the drug into her system with what one can only describe as ridiculous results. Cue well renowned scientist Professor Norman (Morgan Freeman), who acts as an explanatory buffer for all us non science folk, and has the resources and knowledge to potentially save Lucy.
The premise is promising, with the idea of tapping into the far reaches of our brain intriguing enough to snare audiences and fill cinemas. Yet the execution, and for lack of a better word science, behind such logic has too many holes to plug to really enjoy the movie. On top of this, you can’t help but compare Lucy to other sci-fi mind benders like The Matrix and more recently Limitless, in regards to both visual and narrative structure. As a result, Lucy comes off as a nonsensical hybrid of the two that leaves a lot to be desired.
The one redeeming quality this film has to offer is the abundance of visually stunning imagery, with Lucy literally travelling through space and time which unfolds in an artfully beautiful fashion, overloading the senses in the most stunning way. This is where the positives end though, as Besson takes us on a journey so far-fetched that even the most intelligent of our species will be sitting back scratching their heads like a bunch of monkeys. Halfway through the film we realise that Lucy’s powers are endless, and besides the clichéd car chase towards the end, there is little to no thrill or drama as Lucy is clearly unstoppable. As a result of gaining all the ‘knowledge’ the universe has to offer, Lucy gradually loses all her unique personality traits in the process, and by the end we are left with a robotic shell that I had no compassion for whatsoever. Add to this one of the most illogical endings to a movie I’ve seen in a long time and your left with a movie full of promise and not much else.
The first few scenes of the film are promising, yet Lucy quickly spirals into a ridiculous and outright absurd film that would leave even the most hard-core sci-fi and ScarJo fans wrought with an overwhelming sense of regret at having wasted 90 minutes of their time on this cinematic clunker.
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