Posted August 18, 2014 by editor in Film Reviews

Lucy Review


Lucy is a young woman living in Taiwan, duped by her boyfriend into delivering a suitcase to a hotel and finds herself captured and used as an delivery girl for a new drug on the market. But after one brutal encounter the package that she is being forced to store (inside her body) ruptures and the drug beings to fuel her body in such a way that her brain capacity starts to go into overdrive.

In mere minutes she suddenly becomes the cleverest person in the planet and she sets about avenging herself and then going after the other 3 similarly packed items in order to sustain her life.

Luc Besson is at the reigns and if anyone thought he was off the reservation in the third act of his Fifth Element really need to approach this one with caution.

The film starts interestingly enough. Besson’s style for this film is to consistently refer what is going on with the characters with cutaways to parallels in nature. The most obvious being the first – We see wild cheetah’s hunting their prey as Lucy herself is ensnared and captured at the beginning of the film. It would have been an interesting parallel to continue if the film didn’t decide to take all logic, modern science and throw it all out of the window.

The film has already succeeded abroad and this is largely down to Scarlett Johansson’s central performance. It seems she was keen this year to explore the weird and other worldly this year with both this and the earlier released Under The Skin. Whilst that film was heavily restrained, here it’s all out chaos – but it’s Johansson’s ability to act and deliver on the physical side of things that makes it work as well as it does. But then there are limits to even how much she can save the flagging central idea.

The action gets less enthralling as the film (and Lucy’s brain capacity usage) advances. With the ability to control people and things around here she barely needs to lift a finger or bat an eyelid. Not sure about the eyelids, but there is literally one “action” scene where she literally lifts a finger and that’s it! The threat the so called bad guys brings is rendered moot at this stage which kills any tension on screen.

At several points in the movie – Lucy transfers her consciousness and/or appearance into a phone to speak to someone. Often it is Morgan Freeman she is talking to who is ironically phoning in his entire performance. Freeman gets to wax the information across to the audience about how the human brain works; almost like he is narrating a documentary (as he has done in the past). The problem with this is that almost everything he is saying is absolute nonsense made up for the sake of the plot. Casting Freeman in this role is a crucial error as there are a lot of people out there who take stock in the “Freeman-esque” characters in this world. So as a result people may actually leave the film a lot more stupid than they went in. Again which is Ironic, as the film is about a character who transcends knowledge and generally gets a little smarter. The end result of this film could not be the more opposite.

It also seems to take its cue from the ending of the lawnmower man movie which also concerned a character adapting to god-like powers.

In the end you’ll laugh though as the film actually requires you to turn off your brain to enjoy it.

3 Stars



Steven Hurst