Director: Luc Besson
Morgan Freeman/Professor Norman
Min-sik Choi/Mr. Jang
Amr Waked/Pierre Del Rio
Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) is forced by ruthless thugs to transport a mysterious package that they inserted inside her abdomen. Alas, the package breaks, the content is set free within her system and by result Lucy gradually uses more and more of her brain capacity. She finally evolves into…well… you’ll see!
I used to be a HUGE Luc Besson fan! The man was part of my film education. Subway (1985), The Big Blue (1988), Nikita (1990), and The Professional (1994) all left a profound impression on me and are movies that I still go back to today. Moreover, I dug half of Fifth Element (1997) and always felt Joan of Arc (1999) was underrated. But for some reason after the latter effort, Besson as a director vanished off my cinephile radar and although he has directed some stuff since (like The Family), it took LUCY to get me excited about a Besson opus again! I so wanted to love this movie. I wanted to come out of that theatre screaming “Besson is back bitches and with a vengeance!” So did that happen? Read on!
Before I dive in lets get this out of the way. Yeah the flick’s claim that we only use 10% of our brain is BS and I don’t give a flying shite. It’s a movie. You either go with it or you don’t. I was there to have a good time, not nitpick the night away. So on that, LUCY resulted in a zany filmgoing experience. Although engaging the whole way through, I walked out of the theatre a bit baffled and disappointed as to what I had just seen. But then the more I thought about it; the more I appreciated the picture and its ambitious streak. So yeah; this drivel is gonna be tough to write as I’m going to figure out how I feel about the movie as I go. I usually know before hand. The simplest way I can describe LUCY is Nikita meets Terrence Malick by way of Akira and Kubrick’s 2001. Yeah, you heard me! Take that to the bank and cash it! The film gave me a visceral set-up and then pretty much did whatever the f*ck it felt like doing and on some levels I respected it for it. I’m talking left-field choices like intercutting to the animal kingdom to drive a point home or having a lengthy philosophical discussion about the nature/self imposed limits of man or having an ambitious car chase that popped out of nowhere and that embraced collateral damage. It was the kind of movie that you have to see to believe in terms of the decisions it made. For better and for worse this one played by its own rules.
Acting wise; Scarlett Johansson was ideal casting as the titular character. She aced the “normal Lucy” sequences (she was so intense in the first act, I felt for her) and then went full on “Rain Man” on my ass for the Lucy “evolving” bits. As always the camera loved her and the lass carried the whole like a champ. I’m not sure what’s up with Scarlett Johansson playing weird outcast gals now of late (HER, UNDER THE SKIN and now this) but hey – I LIKE IT! Morgan Freeman did fine in the token “explain to the audience what the bleep is going on” Morgan Freeman role while Oldboy’s Min-sik Choi was simply a delight as the coldblooded gangster with one thing on the fritz: kill Lucy. Add to all that jive a handful of pulse-pounding action scenes that were served up straight-up Besson style (the man hasn’t lost his Midas touch), a trippy trance-ish electronic score by Besson regular Eric Serra, some thought provoking themes about the human condition, potent psychedelic imagery galore and a last act that took a drive down the NUTTY highway so fervently that it had to be esteemed for its boldness and you get one hell of PSYCHOTIC ride!
On the flip side, the flick did have its fair share of odd occurrences to serve the plot, like nobody being too impressed by Lucy’s newfound skills or the (uneven) CG oddities they witnessed. I found that sloppy and yes convenient to move the story forward. And was I alone in feeling that the chain of events was rushed or had scenes missing (the bit that set Lucy on her new path came out of nowhere)? I kept hoping that the movie would slap a bit more meat on its bones, flesh things out, but it didn’t. It was almost as if it was in a hurry to get to the finish line. EASY TIGER! EASY! Finally expectations definitely played against this watch. It was as if Besson was messing with me. He would often set me up for a mammoth action scene which should have Lucy kick all kinds of ass and then... not deliver it. The dudes “hanging on strings bit” was a prime example of that. I wanted badass, not silly. VACUOUS NOTE: My least favorite scene in the whole movie was Lucy's convo with her off camera mother. The dialogue was putrid and the voice over actress sucked donkey dong. How did that moment get the green light? Me no comprende.
Look, I can say this with conviction: LUCY was a highly entertaining sit-down with wild visuals, cool action and a solid lead gal. But was it a “good” movie on paper? I’m not sure yet. I think a second watch, with expectations out of the way will answer that one for me. So you gonna kick it with Lucy or what? You’re move!
For a film that was Rated R, I expected more nastiness. As-is we get bloody surgery scenes, gun shot wounds and that was pretty much it.
T & A
Every one kept their tops and bottoms on. With Analeigh Tipton and Scarlett Johansson in the house, that was quite the shame.
Part art film, part action film and part social commentary LUCY was the equivalent of what would happen if Luc Besson made a movie while on LSD! And you bet your ass that pun was intended, Lucy in the sky with diamonds baby! Armed with an effortless pace, a stand-out lead dame, a handful of money action bits and all kinds of left-field weird shit, LUCY made for quite the novel watch. Yes, it felt rushed, plot holes/dumb moves to serve the plot were plenty and Besson didn't always pay-off when it came to his bad-ass set-ups; but at the end of the neck snap; I can't stop thinking about it. Weird. In closing, I had fun with LUCY and dug its "don't give a f*ck" attitude. But I'm still not sure if it's a good movie or not. I want to see it again though. So I guess that says "something"!
Look out for hottie Analeigh Tipton (Warm Bodies) in a small role.
Angelia Jolie was initially cast as Lucy, but she dropped out.