This sci-fi thriller delivers enough good moments for 90 minutes...
Lucy is one of those movies that involves a relatively less common combination of two genres and makes you wonder if they fit together or clash with one another. That was certainly my first thought when I saw the trailer for this movie. Scarlett Johansson as the title character is forced to transport a bag of drugs surgically placed inside her belly, then develops unusual mental and physical powers after the drug leaks into her system. Because the trailer only provides snippets of the movie, I couldn't tell if this was primarily a crime thriller or a science-fiction thriller. Of course, the purpose of a movie trailer is to get you interested in seeing the whole movie. I will give the movie credit in that regard, because I had to find out what kind of movie this is.
Now that I've seen it, here's the answer. It's primarily a sci-fi thriller. The crime thriller elements are simply there to launch the sci-fi thriller and add some extra excitement (plus fill the space to make the movie long enough to be feature-length). The two thriller subgenres here work together well enough and do not feel like a totally unnatural pairing. There was not one moment where I felt disoriented whenever the film switched between crime thriller and sci-fi thriller.
Since [Lucy](movie:935973) is mainly science-fiction, I shall devote more of this review to that aspect of the movie. Basically, this is the story of a woman who discovers the unbelievable things she can do as she uses more of her brain. As a neuroscientist played by Morgan Freeman explains, humans use about 10% of their brain, so one might wonder what would happen if people can use 20% of their brain and beyond. Lucy unexpectedly becomes this test subject as a heavy dose of the drug in her belly fires up many more neurons than before. The changes she undergoes will aid her during the crime thriller sequences and astound us during the sci-fi thriller segments.
This leads to the movie's climax that, I imagine, will divide the audience. I will not reveal or hint at the things Lucy can suddenly do as her brain usage approaches 100%. Instead, I shall describe what the final scenes are like in two words: incredibly surreal. What happens at the end may very well be dismissed by much of the audience as being beyond the realm of possibility. Then again, a handful of imaginative and scientific minds might argue that many things in human history have pushed the boundaries of our understanding of what's around us, so such people might say that the finale of Lucy is still within the realm of possibility, even if it's remotely so. Still, it all depends on whether you are willing to suspend disbelief.
I don't mind movies that are 90 minutes long if they can make the most out of the running time they have. Lucy is a movie that doesn't do too much in a period of one-and-a-half hours, but at least doesn't seem to waste those minutes. I will admit that Lucy could instead be a two-hour movie so that the thrills and the philosophical tidbits about the human mind are more developed and not rushed. But as it stands, Lucy is decent enough as a 90-minute flick. While it doesn't quite use the running time 100% well, like Lucy's brain at 100% capacity, at least it's more like 60%. Hence, my rating for Lucy is 6 out of 10 stars.
Anthony's Rating: 6/10
(Review originally published at http://www.anthonysfilmreview.com/Film/L/Lucy.htm)