Lucy Movie Review - Baseless Nonsense That Struggles To Entertain
Luc Besson's 'Lucy' was touted by many as the triumphant return to the genre of science fiction for 'Fifth Element' director, Luc Besson. Instead, it ended up being 90 minutes of baseless and unentertaining drivel that wastes the talents of its cast on exploring one of the oldest scientific myths in the book.
I was more than willing to look beyond the lack of real science, but the truth is, Lucy offers very little to entertain its audience. With the exception of some nice visual sequences (which is the least you would expect from someone like Besson), everything about the movie is flat, from the cliched dialogue to the god-awful ending, this is a movie that will leave your brow furrowed as you try and make sense of everything that just unfolded before you.
The movie's opening 30 minutes are arguably its best. As Lucy's boyfriend forces her into delivering a package to a wealthy crime lord, there are some funny moments that almost anybody who has spent time in a foreign country will be able to relate to. Johansson does well playing the naive party girl who has never had to think beyond her next deadline at school, and when she finds herself in a sticky situation, you're genuinely able to relate to the fear that's gripped her.
However, it's when Lucy's transformation starts to occur that the descent into nonsense begins. Johansson's character understandably becomes detached from her emotions, but her motives never seem particularly clear or driven. Is she simply trying to stay alive or does she want to seek revenge on those that have wronged her? As Lucy starts unlocking the remaining 90% of her brain's power, she seeks out the expert Neuroscientist, Professor Norman (Morgan Freeman), who with the help of a French police officer, looks to learn all he can from Lucy's expanding mental prowess.
The only thing that keeps the next hour ticking over are the wonderfully Besson-esque action sequences, which invole car chases, super powers and stand-offs between French Police and gangsters. But even these wonderful action scenes are somewhat let down by the protagonist's omnipotence. There is barely a single moment outside of the opening 30 minute where you feel that Lucy is genuinely at risk. This small fact may go a long way to explaining why you never feel any empathy towards Johansson's character.
Away from the action, Besson over indulges in the pseudo-scientific gibberish that essentially represents his film's downfall. It's fine for a sci-fi flick to ask viewers to suspend belief every now and then. Indeed, that's what makes the genre such a beautiful realm for escapism. But Besson doesn't let it go. The whole movie is based around flawed logic which the script insists on dragging up at every possible opportunity. Watching Lucy's powers evolve over time would be thoroughly entertaining if we didn't have to listen to Morgan Freeman's Professor Norman try and lend a scientific explanation as to why its possible.
The movie's climax sums up the movie in a nutshell; It's a visual feast which ultimately fails to get viewers to buy into Lucy as a philosophical hero and only serves to rub salt into the wounds opened by the incessant ramblings of flawed science that occur throughout.
In short, Lucy will have you believe that humans only use 10% of their brain power, when in reality anyone with a handful of cells to rub together can see that Besson's movie will do nothing more than mildly stimulate one's senses.