You’ve Got Some ‘Splainin’ to Do – a Review of Lucy
Production Company: Universal Pictures
Run Time: 90 minutes
Director: Luc Besson
Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman
Summary: Very similar to the feel and pacing of Transcendence, yet quite a different take on essentially the same basic premise. Johansson and Freeman play off each other nicely, but the action sequences are largely rote.
Watching Lucy was almost like déjà vu.
Earlier this year, Johnny Depp played a similar role in the movie Transcendence where he uploaded his consciousness into a computer, thus increasing his intellect and speed of thought.
Now here we’re treated to Scarlett Johansson as a woman who becomes a victim of designer drugs which accelerate her intellect, allowing her to use a significant portion of her brain.
Just similar enough to make you scratch your head, just different enough to keep you guessing how things will turn out.
Lucy is yet another thinking man’s science fiction film, forcing you to open your mind to amazing possibilities yet flinch at the actions of those less worthy of this type of intellectual expansion.
When we meet Lucy, her boyfriend is desperately trying to recruit her into doing his dirty work – delivering a case full of the designer drug to his employers since they’ve had a falling out and the boss wants the boyfriend dead.
He’s forgiving enough though to offer Lucy a job, one she doesn’t want especially in the wake of the bloodbath she gets to witness prior to her indoctrination.
She’s cornered anyway and a bag of the drug is put into her abdomen. Unfortunately, she undergoes a brutal beating and some of the drug is dislodged from its packaging into her system.
Almost immediately she begins to notice the effect. Her brain literally begins remembering every experience she had all the way back to childhood.
In an effort to learn more about what’s happening to her and to pass on that knowledge to someone who could actually appreciate it, she reaches out to a college professor (Morgan Freeman) who has spent his life exploring, studying and mapping the brain. His theories are very compelling, especially for Lucy as her brain undergoes its extraordinary modification.
And while the action is certainly a necessary element in this story, some of the shenanigans seem to go over the top. That includes Lucy’s extraordinary ability to control the bad and good guys as she sees fit.
Luc Besson crafts a compelling movie from the seeds that are sown. I especially liked the opening sequence which almost lends itself to comparison with the trapped feeling Lucy undergoes as she meets the head bad guy. Scenes are interspersed with shots of wildcats in the desert attacking and devouring a helpless antelope.
Freeman lends gravitas to the story with his resonating voice and sincere delivery of the speculative material. He plays a very similar character to the one he developed for Transcendence, although here, he’s more of an educator and speculator than a prognosticator.
The ending of the story is a tad predictable and even the final line can be seen almost from the get go. This isn’t a picture that lacks direction. I just wished it would have taken a little longer to get there. The last half hour of the film almost felt rushed.
Johansson is one of those actors that is gifted with great looks, a rocking body and a delivery that even many classic actors would die for. She manages to skillfully traverse the scale from helplessness to despair to anger and eventually emotional apathy as her humanity is drained during her cranial transformation.
Lucy isn’t exactly what you might expect from a midsummer blockbuster, but it will certainly force you to open your own mind to understand what’s happening to her.
I give Lucy 4 out of 5 stars.