Lucy is the new film by director Luc Besson (Leon: The Professional, The Fifth Element) staring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman. Lucy is a woman living in Taipei, Taiwan, who is forced to be a drug mule for the mob. A drug implanted in her body inadvertently leaks into her system, which allows her to use more than the 10% of her brain’s capacity, thus changing her into a superhuman. As she transforms into something unknown and new, she decides to turn the tables on her captors to become a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.
The movie has some very interesting ideas and themes about human evolution, man’s need to become more, and sometimes a cautionary tale of man’s need to want more knowledge than possible. The movie is built on a shaky foundation of many ideas, maybe a few too many. The film has many concepts, but lacked which theme/plot they wanted to focus on. So there are many things going on, some are interesting and others are not. This doesn’t hurt the movie, it just shows how the concept was better than the execution.
The main focus would be on the evolution of humans if we could use more than 10% of our brains, and what would happen if such a thing would occur. Enter Morgan Freeman’s character, Professor Norman. Norman is studying his theory on what would happen to an everyday human if they would use more than 10% of their brain. His hypothesis is that as the human brain learns more, the person would gain special talents, such as mind control, moving objections, hyper-sensitivity, seeing things the normal eye can not, etc. Basically, the person would become an unstoppable superhuman. But without proof, his studies are all sheer conjecture.
Lucy is just a poor girl in the wrong place at the wrong time. Tricked into becoming a drug mule where the drug in her stomach begins to leak, she starts to become more. She develops new and amazing powers with each upgrade to her system. As her brain usage becomes more, she becomes less human and more superhuman. Cutting herself off from emotion, she no longer feels pain, and learns to control the mass and matter around her. With the help of Professor Norman to understand what’s happening to her, she decides to take revenge on the drug lords that forced her into her currant situation. Lucy becomes one bad-ass warrior hell bent on her mission.
The movie looks great and has some wonderful special effects that worked well in the world the filmmakers have set up. One scene in particular is when Lucy is learning to see all the cell phone singles when trying to find a certain one. The lights and effects they use look stunning, it really brings out Johansson’s beauty. The scene worked well, as was anytime Lucy used her powers to change into physical form. Plenty of time was given to make sure the effects looked astounding.
What didn’t work so well was the action, which was shocking for a Luc Besson flick. Well known for his awesome action, this movie feels tame and sub-par compared to some of his earlier works. Lucy does kick some ass, but it’s few and far between. She relies more on using her powers to stop villains rather than fight them. That’s fine, but this is an action movie, and the audience deserved more than what was given.
The music and editing were also not the best. The movie’s over usage of jump cuts became jarring rather than artistic. And the score and use of French pop didn’t match well. It should have been one or the other. Together they just seemed more loud and annoying than mood creating.
Overall the movie is fun, especially if you like watching women be strong and kick ass. But in terms of quality, it’s just so-so. It weighs way too heavy on its concept and forgot to make more of an interesting movie with its ideas. It’s a movie that can be enjoyed, but not at a theater where you pay full price. This is a redbox flick at best. The lackluster action mixed with jarring styles of filmmaking make it hard to enjoy anything other than some neat effects.