If you are going to name a movie after me, it had better be a good one. Sadly Lucy fails to live up to its name. The trailer contained virtually all the best parts of the movie, and there was very little left to pad out the remaining 89 minutes.
Luc Besson wrote and directed Lucy, a sci-fi thriller about an American woman living in Taipei. Scarlett Johansson plays Lucy, who is dragged into a dark underworld of Asian crime when she is tricked into working as a drug mule. Inadvertently absorbing an experimental new drug, Lucy evolves into a super being with amazing telekinetic abilities, and an astounding ability to wander through the city firing two guns at once while apparently never attracting the attention of the local law enforcement agencies. The drug, CPH4, has unlocked the full capabilities of her brain, and she puts it to good use wreaking revenge on the criminals that wronged her.
While the film contains some entertaining special effects and Scarlett tries her best to carry a nonsensical plot, it just doesn’t gel. The more her brain power is unlocked, the more monotone and wooden she is forced to become. High drama juxtaposes with boredom. Morgan Freeman plays Professor Norman, a scientist who has researched the potential of the human brain to function above its usual limit of ten percent. Lucy contacts him having sped read all of his work but it is unclear as to why. Since she already appears to know everything, Morgan’s role is somewhat superfluous. He appears mainly bemused throughout, and frankly he may as well have been reprising his role as the narrator of the March of the Penguins rather than anything else.
Luc Besson also co-wrote and produced Liam Neeson’s “Taken” series. His films have often featured female action heroes, most notably “La Femme Nikita”. This film could have been another great action adventure but sadly failed to fire. Opening scenes interspersed with shots of wildlife in order to emphasis Lucy’s role as a victim (cue nervous gazelle with lions approaching) were simply too obvious. Closing scenes required too much suspension of belief to be satisfying. An interesting initial idea, ‘Lucy’ was simply unable to focus and decide exactly where it was going. Perhaps the plot could have done with its own dose of CPH4 to unlock its full potential.
Rating: R16 Violence.
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