Luc Besson returns to form with Lucy – a nutty action sci-fi that feels like a throwback to the 90s but is so much more than just hokey science and senseless action.
A young woman unwittingly becomes a drug mule for an experimental new substance, but the chemical leaks into her body after she resists, unlocking the inner potential of her brain capacity. Now armed with the greatest mind on the planet, Lucy must find a way to destroy the syndicate and save herself before she hits 100% brain capacity.
Fans of Besson’s unique style of action cinema will be blown away but this film is for anyone who likes sci-fi abd is more inclined towards the fiction side and less of the science.
The Bottom Line
Not all movies have to be thought provoking, stylish, or even well written in order to be considered fun. Lucy is one of those big, dumb movies that are just simple fun and escapism. I’ve been waiting a long time to see Luc Besson get back to doing what he does best, and even though Lucy isn’t quite as good or memorable as The Fifth Element or Leon, it’s the sort of cinematic experience that we’ve been missing from Besson while he’s been distracting himself with indentured political prisoners and wise-cracking mafiosi.
So here’s what you can expect from Lucy:
- A strong female action hero with a personality that isn’t really fleshed out.
- Dubious or antiquated scientific hypotheses.
- A thrilling car chase.
- And of course lots and lots of bullets and booms.
That’s a recipe for a signature dish from the house of Besson. Lucy is fun and on some strange level, engages with viewers, providing them with unanswerable questions due to hypothetical concepts – I wanted to feel like the concept made sense to me for the sake of the film, and that alone is the power of good storytelling. Still, the concept is silly but in a smart way.
My biggest critique of the film aside from the outdated scientific ideas is that by today we’ve come to expect a certain level of visual polish for big screen releases. The visuals are particularly uneven in Lucy, the practical effects as always are stunning, but there are instances where the film dives into the world of the surreal and takes a trip into Lucy ala Fantastic Voyage and we get a peak at her innards being bombarded by a strange blue chemical. The effects aren’t awful, but they’re definitely dated, as are the few scenes that show a primitive human scavenging for food, where instead of going the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes route, the models and performances look almost comically terrible.
Lucy is silly from start to finish, but what sells the film is the conviction of the cast and crew. Like a 90′s Schwarzenegger taking down mutants on Mars, Scarlett Johansson embraces her role with an uncanny belief that manages to sell the absurd to the audience, and it’s this conviction that makes the film not only compelling but incredibly rewarding.
Lucy isn’t a must see film, but it’s a refreshing take on the action sci-fi genre that hasn’t been done in a good while. Some great performances and incredible action sequences make this a movie for a dudes night out but isn’t so gender-typical that women cannot watch it, and as always, it’s pleasant to see another strong female lead from Johansson. The average human uses 10 percent of their brain capacity, and you won’t need more than 1 percent to enjoy Lucy, and that’s not a bad thing.