Lucy - Review

Enduring Lucy is like sitting near an obnoxiously loud person who's spurting theories they believe are so clever but are painfully inane. Except for a few moments this film is a wall-to-wall disaster, which leads me to think that Luc Besson’s films just aren’t my cup of tea. I've seen a large swathe of his filmography so with absolutely no hesitation I can declare ... I'm out baby!

Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) gets drawn into the shady world of Taiwanese drug dealers when she's tricked by her boyfriend Richard (Pilou Asbaek) to deliver a case to a ritzy hotel. Things go from bad to worse for poor old Lucy when the evil gangsters led by Mr Jang (Min-Sik Choi) sew the drugs into her lower intestine in order to turn her into a drug mule. After she is kicked in the stomach the drugs leak into her system, but these aren't any ordinary drugs ... no no no they are drugs which increase the brain's capacity exponentially and gives the recipient all sorts of groovy Jedi/Matrix-esque powers. Lucy races the clock to unravel the mysteries of the universe while evading bad guys, good guys and everyone else in between. All of which results in a wholly unsatisfying film which feels like the concept was jotted down on a cocktail napkin one evening and saved from any further rewrites.

it’s the lack of story which is so frustrating about this film. Arguably there's a kernel of an idea which is screaming to be developed into something more interesting. Strangely as Lucy’s intelligence and brain activity are skyrocketing the film transversely gets dumber at the same rate. The problem being the fact that Lucy is basically becoming a superhero with limitless powers and no villain of any note to challenge her, which means there's literally no obstacles for her to overcome and zero chance of there being tension or stakes. Picture a superman film where he just flies around unchallenged for ninety minutes ... Yawn.

This has been an awfully productive year for Scarlett Johansson with four films hitting theatres, and its only July. Scar Jo's performance is at least slightly interesting although in fairness she's dangerously close to simply playing a Black Widow clone from her Marvel work. Morgan Freeman plays Professor Norman, who is yet again an example of a character who is meant to be The Expert of a particular field, but ends up seeming pretty hapless. He plays the world's leading expert in brain capacity but Lucy's mind surpasses his research within the first four minutes of the film, poor storytelling at its best.

I don't know what it is about Besson's films that irks me so much. On average his films are shot competently, he handles action well and he's responsible for some classic films such as The Fifth Element and Leon: The Professional. I guess they always seem a tad soulless to me. There doesn’t seem to be a great deal of passion behind them and for me that bleeds into the final product. This is just heavy handed filmmaking at it’s worst which thinks which has all the sharpness of a butter knife.

Don’t bother racing out to catch this one, there are far better things on offer that I’d prefer you make the effort to go out and see. If you see the film and agree or disagree with my thoughts feel free to drop a line below.

- Stu



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