Sunday, August 24, 2014


Year: 2014
Director: Luc Besson
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Choi Min-Sik, Amr Waked

Plot: A young woman named Lucy is forced to be a drug mule by a Korean mob boss. But after the drugs gets mixed into her system, she gains super enhancements in her brain capacity and with it, super powers.

Review: If you walked into Lucy expecting a standard Luc Besson action movie, you're in for a surprise. This is one of those rare moments when Besson gives us something more cerebral than stylish. I had read a review that claims this movie is very similar to The Tree Of Life. I can certainly understand that notion now. This pretty much means that there isn't as much action here as you would anticipate from Besson.

Scarlett Johansson plays Lucy, a young student in Taipei who is forced by a Korean mob boss (thanks to her shitty boyfriend) to become a drug mule. The drugs gets accidentally mixed into her system and suddenly she gains superpowers and heightened brain power, which she uses to turn the tables on her tormentors. Not knowing what to do next, she seeks out Professor Norman (Morgan Freeman), an expert in the human brain on her next step.

For his latest effort, Besson gives the audience a tour into Lucy's steady evolution, by stating the percentage of her brain power as she evolves, using stock footage to symbolise and describe the theories being used and showing what's going on in her body whenever something huge happens. It's fascinating actually to not only experience the theories Besson wants us to learn, but to also watch a different way his protagonist deals with obstacles. For example, why engage in fisticuffs when you can just stop them with your mind?

To her credit, Johansson is in great form as Lucy, especially in the first third of the film when she is at her most vulnerable. Watching her cower in fear as the Korean gangsters messed with her was different from what we'd expect (if she was the Black Widow, the result would be otherwise). She also excels in a poignant scene where she speaks to her mother on the phone, afraid on what she may become imminently. Johansson is simply superb here, even as she becomes more emotionless as she evolves. Freeman is perfect as Professor Norman, being that same guy who is excellent at narration, providing the audience with the human connection necessary to understand the goings-on. Choi Min-Sik of Oldboy fame is also solid as the antagonist Mr Jang while Amr Waked provides the comic relief (and then some) as Del Rio, the Paris police captain.

The film suffers however from massive lapses of logic and a ludicrous third act when Lucy's powers hit the max. It's not just her growing powers that defy logic, it's also many other things, like the severe lack of security at hospitals or the ineptitude of the police. The ending itself is anti-climactic, but it's not entirely unexpected.

At best, Lucy is quite entertaining and dare I say it, educational overall. At worst, you'll wonder what the heck you just watched when it's over. (3.5/5)   

1 comment:

Kenji said...

Nice movie. Thumbs up for the review.


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