Here we have a film that I’m sure will divide people greatly, I can see both sides of the argument clearly and without sitting on the fence I know which side I’d lean more towards but I’ll save that grand deduction until the ending note, but first I’ve got to try and utilise 5 – 10% of my brain capacity to write this review…of a film that is certainly striking in attempt and visual but style over substance never wins out really and this is where ‘Lucy’ falls down massively.
Luc Besson directs and writes this sci-fi thriller flick about the effects of a drug scientifically named CPH4 that basically feeds into the human bloodstream and opens up more cranium potential. As Professor Norman (Morgan Freeman) states most humans have the room to use 10% but what would happen if we could use more, what powers could we achieve and what dangers would we bring unto ourselves and others? Well it just happens that a 25 year old blonde named Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) accidently becomes a drug mule and the package splits and enters her body. It’s not long before she’s out trying to learn the consequences of this CPH4 and go after the people who did this to her.
On the positive skew of things, the greener grassier side of the fence you can get wrapped up in the nonsense thrills of this film. It’s obvious from the trailer alone that it’s a silly idea with no real scientific real merit but looking past that you can try and have fun enjoying some of the set pieces, which in fact are nicely executed. The first thirty minutes of screen action which translates as the initial 40-50% in Lucy’s goddess growing progress are actually pretty good. There’s fun and interesting ideas, even the weird choice to intersperse nature documentary clips to tally with Lucy and her predicaments don’t grate too much. There’s smashing and crashing in the later stages with police car pile ups, men being lifted above a sassy Lucy and in fact the visuals, however dumb at times, do look impressive. It has a very ‘Matrix’ stamp over it and that’s no problem, the problem is in mixing what could have been a no brainer revenge thriller with some second half rubbish.
This is me on the drier muddier side of the fence now seeing how it’s a good set up for ultimately a disappointment. It just tries being too serious for its own good that you can’t help but snigger at what it’s attempting to do. If it worked then fine but it doesn’t. The last 30 percent of her story is just so crud and goes black oozy stupid on you that you wonder what you’ve watched when exiting the screen. Objects fall away as quickly as intelligence does until you’re left with a white room that serves just as blankly as Besson trying to think of a good end for this movie. The actual ending itself is pathetic, even more so for the final voice over mentioned that makes no sense. It’s a shame because I wanted to like this film, I knew it wouldn’t be fantastic but I was expecting it to be joyous thrills and spills, sadly they get lost amongst the deep issues of matter and time that this film tries to tackle.
It’s very cheesy in places and then very confusingly strange in others, there’s no final consistency on the theme or styling of this story which is annoying especially when the opener with Lucy being subjected to an unknowing trap with Asian gangsters makes for some tense moments. The dispatches from heroine Lucy are superb as she just smirks and calmly goes about swiping obstacles out of her way but sadly we have a film that likes to project Asians as the enemy and leading the march is a hot American blonde which does nothing for racial stereotyping in movies. Apparently Besson said he drafted in people from differing ethnicity’s to help the script with its dealings of how we react to the environment and people but having the majority of villains as Asian and making the saviour a white female doesn’t really work in favour of that thought. Besson really hasn’t been conjuring up magic with his latest movies, just go back to another four worder beginning with L and watch ‘Leon’, now there’s a great film with fantastic set pieces and clever ideas.
This is by far better than ‘The Family’ though and a lot goes down to enjoying the first stages of this concept even if you know it’s extreme sci-fi hooch. At least it has Scarlett Johansson who sells the job as Lucy really well and after her convincing Black Widow outings you can buy into her efficient dominating and kick ass behaviour. She switches nicely into the more robotic unemotional act once the drugs have kicked in which help sell them taking away human feeling, this only works as well because of her breakdown and retching fit in the hotel bedroom. Morgan Freeman plays the character only he could play and his brilliant lullaby tones aide the character of a smart professor as you’d imagine they would. Though how Freeman’s character and the other docs wouldn’t freak out on seeing a gooey sprouting woman baffles me. The rest of the cast don’t really do much to stick in the memory so it really is a two person show that predominantly lands at Johansson’s feet to sweep up and run away with, with as much gusto as she can muster.
It’s by far not an awful movie but it’s certainly not a great or even very good one either. It’s watchable but not one for repeated viewings, it might be a mess by the latter part but it’s quick and bold even if that brave step into trying something wise is actually very very stupid. It might be fair to say that on the flip side of watching this film you’ll never have a chance of gaining more brain percentage potential, you may have even lost some of your IQ in the old noggin but there’s early fun to be had even if that is the case!
Stupid, way too try hard in offering up deep thoughts of life and human power but not the worst film I’ve seen. So maybe I;m still kind of perching on the fence top here but I can’t rip into it just as much as I can’t really like it too. Not a cinema outing for sure, more something to catch if it ever came on telly, so you know what to do. Go see Guardians again!
5% / 10%