Lucy, a film by Luc Besson, tells the tale of a woman accidentally dragged into carrying a large amount of synthetic drugs out of the country. Whilst in captivity the drugs release into her system, expanding her neural capacity and turning her into an unstoppable juggernaut that is beyond human logic…
The basic premise of this film is that humans are only able to access a certain amount of their brains capacity, while Lucy, as a result of the drugs, is able to access more than 10%. But this premise is flawed, ask any neurologists and they will tell you that we already use more than 10% of our brain, as each area of our grey matter serves a function autonomously. This is Hollywood, however, and if there was to be a film about someone using 100% of their brain realistically it wouldn’t be as exciting or dramatic as what they attempt to do here.
The acting and the special effects can withstand the film, you go into it expecting to see what the trailer promised, Scarlet Johansson kicking ass Black Widow Style, but the action doesn’t begin until 30 minutes into the film which then rushes the remaining time. The main issue here is the editing of the piece, as there are frequent intercuts in the first 30 minutes of related, but unnecessary, filming material that delivers more information than is needed. There is exposition throughout the whole film and it doesn’t allow audiences to make the connections themselves, and yes it’s a given that this plot is complicated, but it’s not that complicated.
Scarlet Johansson delivers in her performance as the invincible woman and that could be due to her training as Black Widow, however it is the same invincibility that doesn’t inspire any empathy for her character as it’s clear that she will come out on top of this. Morgan Freeman’s role in the film is scaled back significantly; he is introduced immediately after Johansson’s voice over and he is brought back to explain things but there is no further development. Min-sik Choi plays the villain in this film, and if you think he’s familiar it’s because he’s portrayed Dae-su Oh from Oldboy, but he is hardly expanded upon in the film and it’s an opportunity wasted.
As for the goal of the film, it’s unclear what Besson is trying to get Lucy to accomplish here. Lucy manages to stop some drug mules from getting to their destination, she doesn’t take down the head of the drug cartel to ensure that no more of the drugs are created but she manages to impart nuggets of philosophical knowledge at random integers. With all her brain capacity it makes me wonder why she doesn’t solve the biggest mysteries of science with her intellect; like what is dark matter or finally deliver the answer to the string vs. loop quantum gravity theories. There are too many ideas and thoughts attempting to overload this film where a straight forward Kill Bill plot would have done as well.
Karla Gamero Gomez