LUCY

PrintE-mail Written by Ed Fortune

DVD REVIEW: LUCY / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: LUC BESSON / SCREENPLAY: LUC BESSON / STARRING: SCARLETT JOHANSSON, MORGAN FREEMAN, MIN-SIK CHOI, AMR WAKED / RELEASE DATE: JANUARY 12TH, 2015

Lucy is the tale of a woman (Johansson) who gets in over her head. In the first ten minutes of the movie, the titular heroine finds herself coerced, betrayed, beaten, abducted, tortured and then operated on. Gangsters force the main character to be a drug mule, carrying a new street drug that causes vivid hallucinations. The bag of drugs hidden within her bursts, unleashing all of the chemical into her body and unlocking her hidden potential as a super-powered being with a wide range of powers, starting with hyper intelligence and acute awareness. She then uses these newfound abilities to take on the gangsters and stop the mysterious drug from becoming widespread.

Let’s get this out of the way first: the core premise of Lucy is based on a popular myth that we only use a limited amount of our brain capacity. It’s a fallacy that has hung around because peddlers of self-help books and the like use it to flatter the gullible in order to sell them useless things. It is poor science at best, self-help guru propaganda at worst, but neither of these things are relevant to the movie; the “we only use 10% of our brain’s power” is a convenient shortcut to explain away the impossible. Just because the premise of a story is based on bad science, it does not follow that the movie itself is bad.

Lucy is a bad movie for entirely different reasons. On paper, Lucy sounds amazing. Scarlett Johansson is an actress best known for her ass-kicking action movie skills, and director Luc Besson is responsible for movies such as La Femme Nikita and Leon. Throw in Morgan Freeman as a sort of science Gandalf and, in theory, you should have a great little sci-fi B-movie about the ascension of mankind and the dangers of hubris.

Instead, what we get in leaden and plodding tosh. No effort is made to make us care about any of the characters, and by the time we get some level of engagement with the cast, it is way too late. Despite being a race against time, the pacing is too slow to give us any sense of urgency, and the story itself can’t really be bothered to introduce us to the main characters. The gangsters simply exist to move the plot along, Lucy herself does nothing to make us interested in her (despite Johansson’s best efforts) and Morgan Freeman doesn’t actually get to do very much throughout the film. The result is very expensive version of those terrible sci-fi movies that littered video stores in the ‘90s.

Despite its potential, the movie only ever achieves 10% of what it could do.

Special Features: Cerebral Capacity - The True Story of Lucy / Trailers

 

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