Lucy – 2 out of 5
Here’s another movie that pushes the myth that we humans only utilize 10% of our brains and that if we were able to use all 100%, we would somehow gain superpowers that would instantly grant use a full free ride to Charles Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. The reality is we DO use 100% of our brain and NO we don’t have dormant super powers waiting to be unleashed (and believe me, that last fact depresses the hell out of me). However, movies are work of fiction and I don’t expect reality—I want to be entertained and often people with freakish powers are entertaining as hell. Add to the fact that the person with said freakish powers is the very talented Scarlett Johansson—or as some call her ScarJo…but I call her Lettson—and it seems like I was in for a fun, action-packed romp. The reality? Not even close.
|Oh shit, the internet hoax about losing gravity wasn't a hoax after all!|
After her boyfriend forces her to make an illicit delivery to a shady man, Lucy (Lettson) finds herself submerged into the world of drug-based crime. An evil drug kingpin named Mr. Jang (Min-sik Choi) had his men surgically place a bag of a powerful drug into her abdomen but when Mr. Jang’s men get too rough with her, the bag ruptures and she begins absorbing the drug. She soon learns that the narcotic is opening up her mind and it seems the more open her brain (or brian, if you spelled it wrong) gets, the less limits are restricting her in nearly every aspect of her reality.
|It's a hell of a drug.|
However, this comes at a price as the more she is able to use her mind, the shorter her own morality gets. Quickly, she seeks out the brilliant Professor Norman (Morgan Freeman) in order to show him what the mind is truly capable of and to try to pass on what she’s learned before she dies. The biggest problem is that Mr. Jang is not happy and he’s doing what a lot of drug kingpins do when they are not happy…if I have to spell out what Mr. Jang plans to do then you haven’t seen many movies.
|Wait...this kinda looks like another Scarlett Johansson film...|
Lucy starts out decent enough. The film is a tad tongue-in-cheek and has some silly—but fun—foreshadowing gags during the opening sequences. Sadly, that’s about as good as the film got for me because the rest of the time the film sits knee-deep in its bad movie science and pseudo-philosophy. Then, when writer/director Luc Besson isn’t thinking he’s being deep with the film’s dialogue, the film spends the rest of the time feeling like the beginning of the First Act and can’t quit escape into what needs to be a action-packed Second Act and a completely epic Third Act.
|"Hey you guys!!!"|
One reason that made the movie feel like it was never really making any forward progress was the fact that the film’s antagonist, Oldboy’s Min-sik Choi, isn’t really developed and I never really got a feeling that he actually had some plan he was enacting. A little mystery is good but when I spend the whole movie saying, "What exactly was his operation to begin with?" it makes for a weak film experience and an even weaker antagonist...which, in turn, harms the protagonist by failing to give them a decent barrier to leap over.
|But, at least this time his story didn't end with him having sex with his daughter.|
Finally, the film ends on a real light note that's complete with an utter lack of luster and is totally underwhelming. When the end of the film is nearing, it feels like the movie is about to hit its nutso Third Act and shit is about to hit the fan—shit was already getting crazy at this point but it felt like it was building to something even more crazy—but then *BAM* the film fades out and ends. It made the entire film feel very empty and, in retrospect, makes all the minor action and conflict I already witness feel unnecessary and almost pointless.
|His "trapped in a box" is second-to-none.|
Acting wise, the film is very good. Lettson, Freeman and Choi are all doing very well in the film but their characters don’t have much going on with them. Lucy might be the most dynamic and deepest of them all but as the story progressed and her characters gains more abilities and loses her humanity, she started to lose the potential to be the action badass the trailer and early moments of her drug-induced awakening promised and she became very unlikable to me and any depth she might have held was rendered moot. I get that she’s become more logical and less feeling but the amount of innocent people she was willing to mow down in her journey to pass on her knowledge didn’t really make her that good of a character to watch. While Lettson played the character well (except for the moments she is giving an emotional reaction after the character of Lucy says she no longer feels emotions…but more on that soon), the fact is I just wasn’t interested in her character and didn’t really find her that compelling to watch. To top it off, she would become less and less interesting as the film went on. In reality, she should have been more interesting as more of her brain is unlocked.
|Her character sucks but she knows how to hold a gun like the cool kids do.|
Now, finally finally (I know I said the last paragraph was my final issue but what are you going to do?), this movie has a lot of plot holes. Aside from the fact this film pushes the myth about using only 10% of your brain and the constant showing of emotion after Lucy says she no longer feels those pesky things, there are tons of moments in the plot that make no sense and are counterproductive to the whole "Lucy is becoming omnipotent and knows all stuff." Or the fact that Morgan Freeman's character is suppose to be super intelligent but gives off the wrong estimate that is commonly used by the scientific community about how old the planet is (and is off by a couple of billion years). Or the fact Lucy is giving off medical expertise of certain body parts from x-rays that don't show the body part. While this seems nitpicky, it’s a reflection of the whole subject of the story and becomes quite laughable when you realize this film took a decade to make and, the whole time, these moments weren't ever researched or given much consideration.
|You just read this caption in Morgan Freeman's voice...or you didn't.|
I don't know.
And finally finally finally (yes, I know I already said finally twice already), this film is very light on the action. The trailer and promotional material for this film say it is an "action epic" but, aside from a single fight in a hallway where Lucy doesn’t even bother throwing a punch and just levitates her attackers towards the ceiling, I didn’t really see any action sequence in the film that was that memorable or even remotely interesting.
|"I should be angry but this is funnnn!"|
I really wanted to like Lucy because I was sold on the trailer and, honestly, seeing Lettson with kick-ass powers that she uses to kick ass seems like a decent popcorn action film that I can zone out to, kick up my feet, and just enjoy. Sadly, the story is pretty weak, the action isn’t very spectacular, and the film’s numerous plot holes ended up making the film pretty forgettable for me.