Lucy (2014)

LucyTalked into delivering a locked suitcase to an unfamiliar businessman, Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) is abducted on arrival and surgically implanted with an untested drug. She and four others are then given twenty-four hours to transport their cargo to destinations across Europe, their families threatened should they not comply. Before she is dispatched, however, Lucy is punched in the stomach for spurring the sexual advances of her captors, and a large quantity of the drug is absorbed into her system. She finds herself able to control her body in new and unprecedented ways, and with the added assistance of scientist Professor Norman (Morgan Freeman) and police officer Pierre Del Rio (Amr Waked) uses her abilities to track down the man responsible: Mr Jang (Choi Min-sik).

It was obvious from the get-go that Lucy was going to be preposterous. The trailer alone propagated the myth that humans only utilise 10% of their brains, or cerebral capacity as Freeman puts it, and presented a heroine able to change the colour of her hair at will, control objects with her mind and read rainbow data streams being emitted vertically from mobile phones. Witer-director Luc Besson has previous with the implausible, obviously, but even taken on its own Lucy looked to be a particularly feverish offering.

As ready as you might be to dismiss it out of hand, however, Besson for once seems to be one step ahead. Choosing to open not with Scarlett Johansson but an early hominid, the director is likely to have even the most unassuming of audiences on the back foot. What’s more, these early scenes show promise; Johansson’s introduction is inter-cut with an array of apparently arbitrary scenes — early life and a mouse approaching a trap, to name but two — and you find yourself unexpectedly engaged as you work to connect the dots. Surprisingly apt, really, for a film about neural networks and inter-cellular communication.

As convincing as the illusion of intelligence might seem, however, there’s not really any denying that Lucy remains an assault on sense and reason. Besson isn’t making leaps of logic so much as leaving it behind altogether — the last twenty minutes make for some of the most incomprehensibly narrative of the year so far — and moments of lucidity or only few and far between. That said,  it is so enthusiastic and ultimately harmless that you can’t help but be somewhat disarmed by it. Johansson is great, particularly during an early phone call to her mother, and the rest of the cast are pretty decent too. What’s more, Besson continues to surprise throughout, and when violence so quickly gives way to discourse you have to give him his due.

Lucy‘s every bit as ridiculous as you might expect, but it’s so mind-numbingly daft that it might just convince you that there is also the merest shadow of intelligence to it. It may be unintelligible, but that doesn’t mean it’s unwatchable.

2-stars

 

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About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

One Response to Lucy (2014)

  1. Nostra says:

    It was quite a forgettable movie, but had a lot of fun watching it.

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