LUCY Review

     July 24, 2014

lucy-review

Luc Besson’s new film Lucy often feels like 10% of a movie, despite its very clear ambitions to be some sort of ultimate experience. Which is weird because it nails so many of its objectives.  It’s gorgeously shot.  It’s incredibly kinetic and, even when it’s not in the middle of an action scene, it’s rarely static.  Scarlett Johansson throws everything she has into the role (or, at least, gives the role everything it requires of her).  And yet I had to do everything I could to keep from falling asleep during the film’s turgid first act.

That’s some feat considering the fact that Lucy wastes absolutely no time getting started.  The film hits the ground running when Johansson’s titular character is roped into a bizarre drug deal by a sweaty, shady boyfriend she’s only known for a week.  An American student studying abroad in Taipei, she’s the epitome of a normal person thrust into an impossible circumstance when the deal goes sour and she wakes up with a plastic bag of blue powder inside her abdomen.  That powder happens to be a synthetic drug modeled upon a naturally occurring chemical compound that mothers pass along to their fetuses in order to kickstart their development.  And when that bag starts to leak, it gives Lucy access to more than 10% of her brain.  When that happens, she’s well on her way to becoming a god that can control… pretty much everything.  Which provides little in the way of conflict.  When your protagonist is all seeing, all knowing and all powerful there’s never really a moment when all the chips are down.

lucy-review-scarlett-johansson

While all of this is going on, Morgan Freeman’s character is giving a lecture to a group of students in Paris that just happens to dovetail thematically into the expansion Lucy’s brain is undergoing.  I applaud that Besson (who also wrote the film) simply doesn’t care that his central scientific conceit (humans only use 10% of their brain) is considered an across-the-board falsehood by the scientific community.  He insists that Freeman deliver this nonsense seriously.  Like most of the documentaries he’s involved with, Freeman basically serves as a narrator for the first half of the film, explaining each development in Lucy’s brain as she experiences it.  For a while I was excited by the meta aspect of him basically narrating the entire movie, but eventually he’s brought into the main story through an unnecessary contrivance.

It doesn’t help that Lucy is flat-out dumb.  This film is basically Crank doing a cover song of 2001.  And while I’m glad the movie is aware of its role as base entertainment (it seems to know that even its ethereal National Geographic cutaways are utterly meaningless), I wish it was more successful in its brazen attempts to thrill.  But we’ve seen everything here before, both in the film’s trailer and in other (better) movies.  The film has almost every bit of eye candy imaginable, but fails utterly to make you care about what’s happening.  Attractive but not intelligent and good looking with nothing to say – Lucy is the high school crush that grew up to be rather boring indeed.

Rating: C

lucy-review-poster

Around The Web

Latest News

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 2: Katniss and Boggs Prepare for Battle

A new image features Jennifer Lawrence and Mahershala Ali in the climax of the ‘The Hunger Games’ saga.

FANTASTIC FOUR Director Josh Trank Promises “Multipower Slugfest”

'Fantastic Four' opens August 7th.

ANT-MAN TV Spot Reveals Avenger Cameo

'Ant-Man' opens July 17th.

  • Spoiler

Box Office: JURASSIC WORLD Edges Out INSIDE OUT Once Again; New Releases Settle for Scraps

This summer’s box office monster claims its fourth consecutive win by the narrowest of margins. New releases ‘Terminator Genisys’ and ‘Magic Mike XXL’ underwhelm over Independence Day holiday.

July Box Office Predictions: Will More Weekends Continue to Propel 2015?

Paramount and Universal fight for the top spot with franchise fare.

Zack Snyder Defends MAN OF STEEL Ending; Teases Batman Connection and Brainiac

Ben Affleck reveals how the Metropolis destruction affected Bruce Wayne.

Friday Box Office: Holdovers Still in Charge as TERMINATOR GENISYS and MAGIC MIKE XXL Stumble into Holiday Frame

Despite solid Wednesday starts, this weekend’s two new releases will not overtake 'Inside Out’ and ‘Jurassic World’ over the July Fourth weekend.

Kevin Spacey & Adrien Brody Talk Directors, Collaboration at Jameson First Shot

The short film competition this weekend announced its three winners: Stephan Tempier, Mark Middlewick & Travis Calvert

Our Favorite “AMERICAN” Movies

With “American” in the title, it can’t be bad.

BLACK PANTHER: Ava DuVernay Passes on Directing the Marvel Film

The 'Selma' filmmaker says she and Marvel had different ideas about what a 'Black Panther' movie should be.

Page 1 of 4,02812345...102030...Last »
echo ' '; ?>