Lucy (2014) – Review

2 Stars

Luc Besson’s prolific mind has concocted another genre bender with Lucy, a glossy action pic with human evolution on the mind. Lean, violent, sporadically entertaining, and often ridiculous the action comes fast with few breaks for logic, gravity or common reasoning. Even though star Scarlet Johansson doesn’t don a superhero outfit, she might as well be playing one. This is Besson doing the superhero genre in his uniquely off-center way. Morgan Freeman is on hand to continue adding his special brand of quality to B-movies (Transcendence, Chain Reaction, etc.).

Lucy (Johansson) is an American girl living in Taiwan. As the movie starts she has just met a good-looking guy at a night club, as the sun comes up the stranger asks her to walk into a building and deliver a suitcase to a corporate figure-head. Lucy resists but the guy handcuffs her to the case, forcing her into the precarious position as a drug mule. Within moments the wind-up plot is off and running, rarely taking a break in the ensuing 90 minutes. The velocity at which ideas are thrown at the audience and action is delivered, is enough to ensure that the audience doesn’t ponder the specifics of any scene too long.

The most creative part of the screenplay, is the development that Lucy has been implanted with a leaking bag of drugs. Not just any drug, a test substance that will greatly enhance the brain’s ability to unlock its vast potential. She scrambles to a hospital room for emergency surgery, but it’s too late, the drug has already impacted her in a way that gives her the power to control others, x-ray vision, and a lot of other super-human type tricks. The leading voice in the field of neurological matters is Professor Samuel Norman (Morgan Freeman), he becomes the only person who can help this amazing woman. With only hours before her body’s cellular destabilization, Lucy must pass on her great wealth of acquired information before disintegrating into the space-time continuum.

Lucy starts like an action thriller and end like the worst scene in The Matrix Reloaded. The characters lack any deeper motivation than that of the most basic requirements of the script. Johansson is good in the titular role, she brings a detached energy and delivers the crisp dialogue with tongue fully in cheek. Besson and his frequent writing collaborator Robert Mark Kamen are somewhat brilliant in the fact that they continue to find and create small deviations in a genre that they have over-run the past ten years. But, that last scene is a real head-scratcher.

Director: Luc Besson
Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Amr Waked

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