Lucy review

Luc Besson is the third Directer this year to cast Scarlett Johansson as a lead in a Sci-Fi film.  (Fourth if you include The Winter Soldier.) Lucy, on a bigger budget than Her & Under The Skin, is based on the often quoted myth that humans only utilise 10% of our potential brain function.  The eponymous character inadvertently ingests a drug that gradually increases how much brain function she can use.  At the back of this Morgan Freeman plays Professor Norman an non specific brain “expert.”  Introduced by delivering a lecture about abilities humans could unlock by accessing more of our brain.  Who unashamedly admits that he does not know what would happen if we could access 100%.  Do you think we might find out by the end?

WonderCon Anaheim 2014 - Day 2

Besson immediately let’s us know where we are with this Action-Sci-Fi; as Lucy is forced to deliver a locked briefcase to gang boss Mr Keng (Choi Min-sik.)  In case you didn’t know that this is a dangerous it is intercut with images of a mouse approaching a trap and prey being stalked on the savanna.  With pseudo-Mallick intentions Besson has a lot of fun with cinematic metaphors throughout Lucy; as we do after she inadvertently ingests the “CPH4” accelerating drug.  Her brain function increases exponentially as an array of powers become accessible to her.

Johansson pulls in a glassy eyed performance that holds the film together.  There’s electricity when she’s on screen and when she’s not on screen Dr. Exposition probably is.  Of course it opens up a lot of fun action scenes that are well served by the Sci-Fi premise.  Besson is not reaching for low hanging apples, instead aiming for the top of the tree.  Evoking films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Inception, and Mallick’s Tree Of Life and do so at your own risk.  It’s a B-movie Sci-Fi with higher aspirations as it powers through it’s gaps in logic.  Being more comparable to this years Transcendence. It’s fast paced irreverence takes you on a fun ride; if Besson did philosophy lectures.

Besson tears through logic to bring us a well-performed and ambitious project that is more vengeful fun than thoughtful.

2 and a half stars

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