Directed by Luc Besson.
Starring Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Analeigh Tipton, Amr Waked, Choi Min-sik and Pilou Asbæk.
A woman, accidentally caught in a dark deal, turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.
Although it’s a complete fallacy, there is no denying that the scientific hypothesis that humans only use 10% of their brain and are capable of so much more is an intriguing one. So why the hell is it that no one can muster up an entertaining movie surrounding the concept? Limitless was admittedly a decent movie, but ultimately all Bradley Cooper did was use his extra brainpower as a get rich quick scheme. Don’t get me wrong, I would totally do the same thing in his position, but as a slice of pie in the crowded medium of film, it just wasn’t the most entertaining movie to watch.
Enter Lucy, the latest directorial effort from Luc Besson (Leon: The Professional, The Fifth Element). Sure, it’s another sci-fi fantasy film perpetuating a myth that probably doesn’t need to be perpetuated any further, but it genuinely looked like some good ol’ mindless Hollywood blockbuster fun. The trailers for the movie essentially promoted as as “Scarlett Johansson unlocks her brain and receives superpowers after crazy Asian gangsters drug her” Not a bad concept for a movie at all.
Unfortunately, Lucy is anything but a check your brain at the door popcorn flick. And normally, I would be here praising a movie for not treating its audience like a bunch of idiots that use less than 10% of the brain – sorry, I had to make that pun – and use the art form of cinema to challenge our minds, giving us a new perception on whatever the concept is.
The problem with Lucy is that everyone involved with the creative process of the film have such incredibly lofty ambitions that the film transcends being smart into coming across as a load of pretentious nonsense. Early on in the film, Professor Norman (Morgan Freeman) is giving a lecture to a university on the brain, but amidst all of his rambling goes on to reiterate that the ultimate point of life is to reproduce and pass down our experiences and history to a new generation. Fair enough, that wholeheartedly makes sense. The geniuses writing and directing Lucy though felt it was necessary to drive home the point of Norman’s speech by cutting away to multiple scenes of stock footage depicting various species fornicating or giving birth. It’s overdone and if anything, just comes across unintentionally hilarious.
That isn’t just a problem with the dialogue of Norman though, it’s an issue that plagues every character in the movie. There is a point in the film where Lucy gives an entire monologue to her mother about how she can now feel everything and control her body, which is again filled with some of the most ridiculous and inane dialogue that they could have put in the movie.
The story only gets worse from there too, as the ending to the film is one of the most nonsensical and illogical scenes in a movie in quite some time. Someone should have realized early on that the entire movie is absurd in an annoying pretentious fashion and performed some rewrites, not continuously go deeper and even more philosophical. By the end of the movie it’s all just torture.
The worst part about the shortcomings of the story is that it completely derails Lucy as a piece of mindless action. There just simply isn’t much of anything exciting going on in the movie aside from one hyperdrive speed car chase scene that stylistically and effectively displays some of Lucy’s powers.
Furthermore, that’s entirely what Lucy should have been; escapism that playfully tinkers with the concept of receiving exaggerated abilities from unlocking more of the cerebral cortex. Instead, it is side-tracked into oblivion and 90 minutes of characters discussing the purpose of life.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ / Movie: ★ ★
Robert Kojder – An aficionado of film, wrestling, and gaming. He currently writes for Flickering Myth, We Got This Covered, and Wrestle Enigma. Follow me on Twitter.