Verdict: 4 / 5
Luc Besson has done an outstanding job by creating one of the most impressive female action hero movies in the land of cinema. This action packed sci-fi thriller paints the perfect picture of Lucy (Scarlet Johansson), a zestful smart woman that becomes the ultimate super heroin of this modern technological era.
It all starts Lucy’s boyfriend forces her to deliver a mysterious briefcase to a notorious drug cartel at a lavish hotel in Taiwan. The situation takes a wrong turn and she blacks out after being hit in the head. When she gains consciousness she finds out that a bag of synthetic hormone crystals have been inserted into her intestine and she is forced to transport the drugs abroad. After being kicked in the stomach by a Chinese gangster along the way the bag of drugs tears open and the drug leaks into the blood stream. This alters her physical and intellectual makeup giving her a unique set of superpowers.
The transhumanism theme throughout the film is established when Lucy gains the ability to use more than the normal 10% of her cerebral brain capacity. She starts to evolve into a superhuman computer. The synthetic hormone’s volatile nature gives her only 48 hours to live. During this time Lucy must retrieve the other bags of the synthetic hormone that was inserted into the other drug mules before the Chinese mob finds them. The subplot follows an interesting journey as Lucy works with Professor Norman (Morgan Freeman) to help comprehend the changes of her new super powers and to document her knowledge before it’s too late.
Lucy reminds me of The Matrix in that the film takes you through a technological quest that is jam-packed with violence and suspense that evolves beyond all human logic. The film also uses similar filming techniques and visual computer-generated graphics that carry the story well. Scarlet Johansson was a good choice for the role as she played the provocative intelligent superwoman wearing red blood heels with ease. The film lacked in that the French cop’s character could have been developed more especially since Lucy was such a strong protagonist.
Overall, Lucy was exciting and took me on an unknown journey that wrapped up well at the end. Besson definitely knocked this one out of the park.
As a filmmaker, I’ve always questioned the idea of whether a single film actually has the power to change or shape our lives. It’s rare that a 90-minute feature challenges us beyond entertainment value and leads us to make considerable changes to our lives. For the first time since Tree of Life, I found myself in a theatre of people doing self-examination, amidst explosions and gun fights nonetheless. Lucy offers such a unique experience – a film filled to the brim with over-the-top action sequences but still smart enough to engage its audience beyond the impressive visuals (and there are plenty of stunning views). The underlying question throughout Lucy is simple; what are you doing with the ten percent (a measly amount) of your brain that you do use? While not everyone will appreciate Besson’s work, I for one found it fascinating.