Disproven Science Plus Ridiculous Script Equals Disaster.
Luc Besson’s Lucy starts with such promise. Its first act, seeing star Scarlett Johansson being held by Min-sik Choi (Old Boy) and his gang of mobsters, is filled with tension and emotion. It was gripping. It was reminiscent of what made Besson’s past thrillers so successful.
Then Lucy takes a turn into science fiction as its main character accidentally absorbs a large dose of a new synthetic drug that sparks her to gradually use one-hundred percent of her brain’s capacity and transform into a super-human. This is when things swiftly begin to fall apart.
While on paper the plot seems to echo 2011’s Limitless, in execution it probably owes a lot more to this year’s cyber-bore Transcendence. When the character becomes enhanced she become devoid of emotion and for all intents and purposes a walking computer. She is omniscient and able to control her environment much like Johnny Depp’s character. Being that she is seemingly on a revenge spree of sorts, being emotionless makes little sense. It certainly doesn’t make for an engaging story. Transcendence had similar issues, but was a much stronger film at the end of the day.
Oddly enough, in bringing up Transcendence, Morgan Freeman plays essentially the identical character in both films. Although in Lucy he is much less active to the plot.
Very little in this movie makes much sense. The science of the science fiction is based on an urban myth that has been long since debunked, but is constantly hammered over our heads throughout. The actions of nearly every character defy basic logic, and for that matter most characters could be easily removed without consequence to what loose story there is here (the aforementioned Freeman being a very prime example). The progression of the character and story often contradicts itself solely for the sake of theatrics. Besson’s signature action is tacked on, presumably to balance out the pretentious and inane monologuing that the characters indulge in. Often. The action is exciting and face-paced, but ultimately like the characters, irrelevant.
It’s sad to see Scarlett Johansson take a step backwards with this one after such strong outings this year with Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Under The Skin. Lucy does nothing to showcase the steadily growing talent.
There is remarkably little else to say. Besson was clearly attempting to comment on something with this film, but instead leaves the audience scratching their heads by the end. Something I have never seen more apparent than in the screening that I had attended. The cuts to parallel nature footage is the closest thing to art that Besson adds to the film, but that tool ends up overused and wears thin.
Luc Besson can and has done so much better than this. Outside of it’s strong opening, Lucy is a pure disappointment.[box] The Good: Besson’s signature high energy style, some interesting editing.
The Bad: Broken science, pretentious monologues, irrelevant characters, lack of logic.
The Verdict: An abominable mess. Avoid.
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