Some films have that special something, and some films seem like they stepped in something. Allow me to help you know the difference, and maybe find you something good to watch.
The premise: Lucy (Johansson) is an average American woman living in Taiwan when she gets forced to mule an experimental drug inside her body. The drug leaks out and she transforms into… something more than human!
So there is an urban myth that humans only use 10% of their brains, and if we could somehow utilize a higher percentage there’s no telling what we could do.
Unfortunately, to a lot of people (including Luc Besson and his advisors), this little anecdote of “knowledge” is taken as fact, and in fact serves as the shaky foundation of this pretty little thriller.
If you can get beyond the fake science, and treat this as a fantasy-action flick, then you just may enjoy it. After all, there is a lot to like about LUCY.
It certainly looks great. Every image is sharp and fluid, and Besson paints some stunning images to feast your eyes on. And of course Scarlett looks terrific, although the lech in me wanted to see her charms exploited a little bit more, especially since her acting here is serviceable but certainly less than stellar.
The action was good, but I could have used more of it. There is a sweet car-chase scene, and a couple of good (but short) fight scenes, it definitely could have used a few more of them. Instead, Scarlett got so powerful right away that she began throwing people with her mind, and other lazy “fighting” tactics. Magic. Pfft.
If you are unfamiliar with the name Choi Min-Sik, you may know him as the guy from the original OLDBOY (2003) and as the serial killer in I SAW THE DEVIL (2010). Both aaaaah-maaazing films! If you don’t mind subtitles too much, these are both brilliant and dark films to watch. Choi is his usual ominous self in LUCY, although compared to those other films his character is a bit two-dimensional.
This is a watchable film, and it is a fun film, but it certainly is not a great one, and it most certainly is not a smart one. It pretends to be smart, while pretending to use science, and we’re supposed to pretend not to notice. I guess I was hoping that it would be more like THE BOURNE IDENTITY with a helping of THE MATRIX. Though there is a lot to remind you of those films here, it fell well short of both. I was definitely expecting more from this.
I was also expecting more from Luc Besson. He’s directed some of my favorite films: THE PROFESSIONAL (1994), LA FEMME NIKITA (1990), and THE FIFTH ELEMENT (1997) among others, and though he hasn’t wowed me recently, this was a great opportunity to return to his comfort zone.
LUCY is a film about wasted potential, but the sad irony is that the film itself is riddled with wasted potential. Is it only using 10%? I’ll be kinder than that and say 40%, because if you can use less of your brain while watching it, you just may find yourself enjoying it.