Movie Review: [Lucy](movie:935973).
Directed By: Luc Besson.
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman and Min Sik Choi.
A woman, accidentally caught in a dark deal, turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.
Lucy wakes up with a bandage around her stomach and a packet of drugs sown inside of her. These aren't your average narcotics though, this new drug by the name of CPH4 gives its user the ability to unlock more and more of their cerebral capacity. Lucy's packet of drugs leak into her body and the side effects begin to change her and everyone around her.
Lucy is then in a race against time, she must gain more of these drugs to further develop these effects before the drugs fully consume her and she dies.
Lucy is a film that opened up to very mixed reviews in the US, my expectations were quite low before seeing this film, so to my surprise, I actually found my self liking Lucy. The film opens terrifically, there are no big action scenes but we are treated to one of Johansson's best performances in the first third of this film. When we first meet Lucy, she's an innocent, bubbly character who's just totally oblivious to what is happening around her. She is tricked into this drug deal gone wrong and is begging for her freedom. When the drugs side effects begin, she completely transforms and in a sense, Johansson plays two completely different characters during this movie.
Johansson's performance in Lucy is yet another reason why Marvel needs to stop thinking about a [Black Widow](movie:1070824) stand alone film and just do it already! With her performance in Captain America 2 earlier this year and now in Lucy, a Black Widow stand alone film is surely a perfect idea, not to mention that Lucy also did very well at the box office, going head to head against Dwayne Johnson's Hercules and being victorious.
Apart from supporting actor, Morgan Freeman, Scarlett Johansson is the only name recognizable to main stream movie goers in this film, which means Lucy opened big because of Johansson. More experienced movie fans may recognize Min Sik Choi, the star of the original Oldboy, as the villain here.
Besson has always been a director who creates very strong female characters, especially in The Fifth Element and Leon The Professional. Lucy is no exception, she may be accompanied by a male police officer for a portion of the film but as she states, he is simply there as a reminder and not as a bodyguard. Lucy's new abilities can allow her to defend her self on the most extreme of levels, taking on several bad guys at a time.
While hunting down the other packets of drugs, Lucy is being tracked by Korean mobsters who want they're drugs back. This is the part of the film which didn't interest me. Once you have a protagonist who has telekinetic abilities powerful enough to throw guys through walls and make everyone pass out with a click of her fingers, the threat of Korean mobsters with guns doesn't seem very high and I never felt a sense of urgency.
The sub plot about Lucy knowing she is going to die is prominent during the film but it's never made clear. We are told over and over about the drugs consuming her but Besson never made this clear.
Morgan Freeman plays a similar role to what he played in Transcendence, a scientist who's job is to explain to the audience, what is happening, how its happening and why its happening. Albeit Freeman plays this role very well, I'm just tired of seeing Freeman's acting abilities reduced to exposition dialogue.
I enjoyed a great portion of Lucy, it was fun, complete nonsensical fun. But as the film progressed, the fun started to take a back seat, and the stupidity started to shine through. I read a quote that said "As Lucy gets smarter, the movie gets dumber" and I couldn't agree more. Lucy begins to do things in the last act of the film that feel horrifically out of place within the context of the film. We see Lucy levitating guys and being super smart and that feels perfectly fine with the science fiction that we've already got to know in the film but when she starts doing more extreme things with her powers, the film became a lot less believable.
In a way, Lucy is very similar to Transcendence, it features a robotic main character who's intelligence and power is growing by the second and Morgan Freeman is there to narrate them both. There is one big difference here though, Lucy isn't boring. It makes little sense some times and it gets completely ridiculous towards the finale but not once was I bored.
Besson's ability to make this movie fun, made the pretentious moments seem tolerable. Transcendence took it self too seriously and that's why the ridiculousness that ensued in that film didn't work. Besson has some interesting things to say about knowledge and evolution in the movie and I didn't mind the more preachy moments because they're not forced down your throat.
Lucy is not one of the best films of the year, yet alone the summer, but its not bad. Its a lot of fun if you're ready to buy into what Besson is selling. I advise that before seeing Lucy, you abandon your disbelief at the theater doors because you don't want that hanging over you during this film. I enjoyed Lucy, I don't recommend seeing Lucy but you could go and see far worse films currently showing. If you're ready to have fun with it, Lucy can be a rewarding film and I'm going to give it a B!
If you guys like this review make sure to like me on Facebook - www.facebook.com/jamesmoviereviews - follow me on Twitter @JamesPorter97 and tell me what you thought of Lucy!