French Auteur, Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, Léon: The Professional) introduces us to young woman whose mind is about to be reborn.
Coerced into becoming a mule for an experimental new drug, Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) finds herself in a bad situation that is only getting worse. During an altercation with her captors, things take a strange turn as the surgically implanted drug satchel bursts inside her, flooding her system. Instead of killing her or giving her a ridiculous high (though she does ascend to new heights), the unique compound serves to unlock her brain. With access to more and more of her cerebral faculties, Lucy begins not only being able to completely control her own body, but the bodies of others as well. And that’s just the start.
First off, it has to be said that this film fully relies on the overused trope of “we only use ten percent of our brain.” Perpetuated by television and films such as this one, it’s a complete myth that must, however, be accepted in this case if you are to follow the plot at all. Semi-narrated by the voice of God (Morgan Freeman), a theoretical professor who may be the only one to understand what is happening, the movie gets off to a pretty quick start.
Beginning in a rather typical fashion, the film looks like it will be a standard action revenge flick with a little science fiction thrown in. Anything typical quickly flies out the window though as we leave the realms of both action and science fiction, entering the murky waters of science fantasy. Because that’s what this really is. Echoing the monster B-movies of past generations, Lucy is more concerned with the central concept than anything surrounding it. Besson obviously wanted to make a movie about a meek woman who becomes a force of nature with unnatural abilities akin to Star Trek‘s “Q.” Logic be damned to the depths – as long as the title and heroine are in place, things like plot can be filled in as necessary.
I enjoy science fiction as a way to explore old ideas in new ways, but there needs to be some obvious thought behind it. I enjoy mindless action, but there needs to be something just as mindless driving it. Sure, there are some pretty cool moments as the film speeds along like lightning. They fly by before you have a chance to appreciate them. The whole movie goes by so quickly, in fact, that it’s almost over before you might realize just how very little of it makes and sort of sense.
I have seen a lot of very strange movies. Very strange movies. Almost always, however, the strangeness either conforms with some unique rules of the cinematic universe, or is called out as being strange by the normal world around it. The events in Lucy almost seem to take place in a vacuum. It’s unlikely you have played the Matrix video game, but there is a comparison to be made there. There are supernatural-like events going on, blazing battles taking place, and there doesn’t seem to be anyone to notice as the world is nearly an empty shell. Yes, there are people around at times in this film, but for the most part, they could be cardboard cutouts, either oblivious or uncaring about what is going on around them, even as a car careens down a sidewalk. Even if they react momentarily, nobody seems to realize that there is a superhuman running around Europe, taking people out with her mind.
Even if you accept the flawed premise, and that the basic idea for the film is a good one, the execution is just not done correctly. It’s an entertaining enough diversion for watching at home on a boring night, but it’s not worth a trip to the theater.
Mrs. Hamster says:
My rating: Two out of five hats
Lucy mindbends into 3,172 theaters, July 25