From the mind of such classics like The Professional and The Fifth Element, Luc Besson brings us, Lucy. I had read other reviews prior to seeing this and one overlapping similarity they almost all shared was that they seemed to really sell the film short. It’s advertised and reviewed as a bizarre actioner but from my perspective it has a lot more to say than some are giving it credit for. While a large majority of the film is either theory or just completely made up, it all has the purpose of pushing a certain idea into the audience’s mind. In a more mainstream form, Lucy attempts to bring attention to mankind’s potential if we were to only strive for more. This uses the vehicle of a woman gaining exponential intelligence in order to discover how to push the human race forward, perhaps faster than nature had intended. As unrealistic as most of this seems, for me and those that saw the film with me, it got us talking about the topics it brought forth. I expected Taken with a woman as the protagonist and what I got was something far more thought provoking and in-depth than I ever could have anticipated.
It got us talking, I love when a movie does this; it creates conversations I might not have otherwise had and I am grateful when this happens. It has a brain and whenever possible it tries to flex its mental muscles. Hopefully the audience is willing to allow for the ridiculous and accept it’s greater message. This is more on the nose of what it’s trying to say as opposed to Johansson’s previous effort, Under the Skin, which was more about metaphor and leaving breadcrumbs for the audience to either pickup or walk over. With Lucy there is a message, but above all it is a sci-fi film with action elements that creates something not necessarily groundbreaking (it isn’t), but definitely unique. In this age of reboots and sequels originality seems to be more of a pastime than current practice. So when originality strikes, it’s wise to take advantage. Audiences who like more straightforward entertainment, like Transformers or Maleficent will most likely want to stay away from Lucy. There are far too many underlying things it’s trying to convey that will put off those expecting to see mindless action.
Lucy is a party girl with thoughts going no further than what she wants to do tonight. When a newly acquainted man-friend all but pushes her into delivering a briefcase for him, Lucy is thrown into an underground world she never knew existed and immediately wishes she never found out about. When mafia types plant a package inside of her body she is told to transfer the contents to the destination they have set out. Through an altercation the package, drugs, begin to leak into her body and her mind starts to unlock hidden potential never seen in a human being. Her brain access rises from the average of 10% to 20 to 30 to 40 and it continues into territory no scientist has ever even theorized about. She begins to obtain superhuman abilities like telekinesis, telepathy and even full and absolute bodily control. She is the human definition of perfection if it ever could exist and her enemies are nothing more than speed bumps. When she reaches 100%, watch out.
I don’t mean to make this sound like it’s something greater than it really is, but compared to what I expected and what I saw the level of effort put into this story is worth the ticket alone. The script is strong enough and the cast, lead by the always beautiful and talented Scarlett Johansson, is crafted as to create a highly unexpected smart and thrill filled action/sci-fi event. This is, in my opinion, Luc Besson’s best film in a long time. It’s not a brain buster by any stretch of the imagination but it strives for more and for this and many other reasons, I love Lucy.
Rated R For: strong violence, disturbing images, and sexuality
Run Time: 90 minutes
After Credits Scene: None
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Min-sik Choi, Amr Waked
Directed By: Luc Besson
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 4/Acting: 3.5/Directing: 4/Visuals: 4.5
OVERALL: 4 Nerdskulls