Lucy Review

Lucy (2014) Movie Review by Stephen McLaughlin

Director: Luc Besson
Writer: Luc Besson
Stars: Scarlett Johansson,  Morgan Freeman,  Min-sik Choi

I think “Lucy” would have been interesting to see on the big screen for its visuals and effects alone. The movie starts with Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) as a student, studying in Korea who is involved with the wrong guy, Richard played by Pilou Asbæk pleads with Lucy to deliver a briefcase to his client claiming it to be just paperwork. Refusing to courier the package Richard bounds her to the briefcase thanks to a set of handcuffs, leaving Lucy no choice to deliver “The Paperwork” as the only person who has the keys to the handcuffs is the person that she has to deliver the package too. We later find out the briefcase contains a large amount of powerful synthetic drugs, called CPH4.

Lucy after being unconscious awakes to discover a scar on her lower stomach and realises she is being forced to deliver the drugs in her stomach for the Korean Mafia to Europe, which by some violence and interrogation by the authorities  gets ‘kicked’ opened, integrated into her system with devastating results and side effects for Lucy. This results leads to her being able to use the full 100% of her brain capacity and usage.

Professor Norman (Morgan Freeman) explains in a lecture that humans start off with using just ten percent of their brains and what happens when we reach 20% or even 40%.  With a student asking Norman what would happen if we were able to access 100% with the professor not even known the answer to that question.

In the movie we see how Lucy evolve by the percentage rising in her brain and her capabilities expanding turning her into a lethal weapon. The effects start with her not feeling any pain and controlling her own body to travel through space and time, and then onto controlling others and even transforming matter.

I felt the movie started off good and throughout the movie it developed a good storyline with strength as you can understand all the information that the movie presents to you about the capacity of the human brain. I felt the filmmakers did a good job of this.

Scarlet Johansson once again proves she is not just the tough girl as her sensibilities are shown from beginning to end, she has proved time and time again that her talent to portray different emotions is undeniable. I’m sure the writers and Johansson deliberately wanted to keep Lucy as far away from Marvel’s Black Widow character and I think they also managed to do this. Lucy starts as a vulnerable and terrified girl with the situation way over her head to a person with full control of her new found abilities as the movie rolls forward.

Morgan Freeman’s role is a lot less interesting than Johansson’s and is mainly used to explain what is happening to Lucy when she is not on-screen, which I think worked and is clearly written in as a character who is there to keep the audience informed but the fallback from that usage is Freeman although has the look of a professor, he surely didn’t feel like a Professional on this occasion for me. Freeman has very little to do in this film though, which is a pity as he could have been used much more, although if you are going to get an actor to narrate, then Morgan is your man. It can’t be the same said about Amr Waked who plays Police Chief Pierre Del Rio who makes more of an impression in his screen time who has to protect Lucy (or is that the other way about?)

Luc Besson has great movies to his name, The Fifth Element and Taken spring to mind which both had a good story and The Fifth Element has it’s own unique science fiction world around it. Similarly ‘Lucy’ has  it’s own science fiction world around it, but tries to blend elements and action from other movies such as Inception, The Matrix and Limitless, which I think they did a good job of.

Full credit to Besson, blending a journey to the start of creation as a roller-coaster ride especially in an excellent time travel scene set in Times Square which is fascinating and questions the origins of man and to life itself and finally to the cause of creation. I felt Luc Besson was evolving just as much as Lucy evolves in this movie and you may even find it thought provoking.

I don’t think the movie requires an audiences with certain level of scientific education or open mindedness in order to understand or appreciate what’s going on In the story line as Besson manages to successfully transform a drug heist movie onto a very good sci-fi thriller using visuals that simply show what is going on and more importantly what has happened in the past. The addition of Morgan Freeman to simply the science is a clever move although his appearance is brief.

“Lucy” is one that will inspire you to think deeply about evolution, human nature, and life and where we are going. Overall, this is a decent all action/sci-fi movie that you will enjoy.

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