Lucy Review

The Plot

After being inadvertently drawn into the trafficking of an experimental new drug, a typical young woman called Lucy is exposed to a massive dose of the strange blue substance, allowing her to unlock the full capacity of her brain and bringing with it seemingly unlimited superhuman powers. She has to quickly unlock the scientific and philosophical mysteries of her transformation with the help of renowned scientist, whilst doing battle with the criminal organization responsible.

The Good

Director Luc Besson has an impressive track record for films about strong women (Nikita, Leon) and deceptively intelligent science fiction fun (The Fifth Element). Evidently Lucy combines both those areas of cinematic expertise with impressive and original results.

Those that mistakenly dismissed the premise of the film because of its superficial similarities to Bradley Cooper’s recent ‘magic brain pill’ movie Limitless will be especially surprised. Lucy is far more unashamedly philosophical and poses many sincerely provocative questions about what it means to be human and our ultimate potential as a species.

Though the film is often propelled by simple plot points and action set pieces, it consistently delivers moments of legitimately profound intelligence. Among the spectacle of superhuman car stunts and superfluous gunfights, Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman in particular trade memorable insights into human existence and the true meaning of life.

Scarlett Johansson is simply perfect casting for Lucy, playing a character that quite literally evolves from a naïve and traumatized young girl to an unstoppably lethal god-like genius. Her performance and accomplished special effect are what truly makes her character’s transformation seem so profoundly believable and meaningful. She packs convincing emotion amongst mono-tone monologues about human existence.

Morgan Freeman likewise provides the familiar voice of calm scientific credibility in his typical professorial role. It’s another major asset for the film which keeps it on track as it take increasingly dramatic chances with ambitious special effects and ideas.

The Bad

Lucy will disappoint and most likely confuse anyone hoping for just another film where Scarlett Johansson dispatches bad guys with guns and eye pleasing martial arts. What sets this film apart from her recent costume clad Avengers adventures is a wealth of sophisticated ideas and highbrow philosophy. Ironically, not everyone will appreciate this effort to be so ‘clever’.

The film does demand more from audience’s imaginations as Lucy’s new powers exponentially grow. Quick reflexes or newfound language skills don’t require as much of an appetite for science fiction as telekinesis, body morphing and time travel.  Some will find the bold direction the film takes captivating, while others will find it just gives them a headache. Be warned the film requires some real thought.

The Ugly Truth

Lucy is a pleasing mix of Direcor Luc Besson’s best known and admired work. It’s so much more than the Limitless copycat some may have feared. Scarlett Johansson and a solid supporting cast keep Lucy entertaining and believable as it explore strange and thought provoking new territory. Well worth watching on the big screen for the special effects alone.

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