Lucy, a movie where Lucy, played by Scarlett Johansson, gets mixed up in a drug smuggling operation that leads to her absorbing a new experimental drug, CPH4, which subsequently unlocks certain percentages of her brainpower, thus giving her all kinds of crazy superpowers.
After watching the trailers and seeing the sizable box office haul, Lucy had me intrigued to say the least. How could an action movie with Scarlett Johansson kicking butt not be good? Well, you get Luc Besson to write a nonsensical script that butchers a potentially fantastic idea, that's how.
Directed by: Luc Besson
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action,
Release Date: 25 July 2014
Running Time: 89 minutes
MMPA rating: R
The Good: Unique editing, Scarlett Johansson is good considering her material, Intriguing first 20 minutes, Lucy using her powers can be cool, Interesting idea (poor execution), Morgan Freeman gives another solid performance.
The Bad: Morgan Freeman's BS speech is needlessly long and pointless, Subpar CGI, Lucy is overpowered, Plot conveniences everywhere, Not nearly as cool as it should be,
Plot: 2.1/10- Lucy's concept is full of potential. Sure, the idea of humans only using 15% of our brainpower is not scientifically accurate (or at least I think that is what they say now), but as with any sci-fi film, if the concept is portrayed well, you can sell the audience on just about anything. Unfortunately, the concept is the only thing the movie has going for it, well, aside from the first 20 minutes, which have some really intriguing editing.
The movie begins to fall apart when Lucy's part of the story is cut between Morgan Freeman's speech. Everything relative in the speech could have been summed up in three minutes, essentially the portion about the percentage of brainpower used. The rest of the speech is completely pointless. After the setup for Lucy being exposed to the drugs, the movie has some fun scenes of her destroying anyone in her way, but then the movie's thin semblance of a plot progresses through plot convenience after another.
To add insult to injury, the last 15 minutes of the movie go completely off the rails! It tries to jam in some BS theme into a movie to the point that it is so stupid that I literally was laughing-out-loud while watching it.
Characterization: 3.2/10- Lucy starts out as a realistic college student that likes to party and do crazy things, and the fact that she does start out as a normal person works well. As her powers progress, Lucy turns into an emotionless robot void of humanity, and for the movie is going for, it kind of works. There is one good towards the beginning that humanizes her briefly before it becomes laughable.
Morgan Freeman as Professor Samuel Norman is literally only present in the film to spout exposition so that the audience understands what is going on. He serves no purpose as a character, nor does he do anything relevant. South Korean actor, Choi Min-sik, plays the antagonist, although "antagonist" would imply that he actually poses a real threat to the protagonist, as he serves only as a plot device. Pierre Del Rio is a standard policemen character that follows Lucy around in the second half of the movie, and he is decently likable, but entirely one-dimensional.
Action: 5.5/10- Disregarding the fact that there is no tension with Lucy being an unkillable machine, the action is not bad. Watching Lucy completely wreck everyone in a room is entertaining, but she barely uses her more visually impressive powers, and most other action sequences boil down to her shooting up a room of enemies before they realize what is happening. There is one car chase scene, and the use of Lucy's powers in a car chase should be entertaining, but the CGI is so noticeable that feels like a video game, in a bad way, although there is one or two moments that are somewhat impressive.
Acting: 6.9/10- Easily its best aspect, the acting is just about the only genuinely good thing in the film, yet still not all that impressive. Scarlett Johansson is my favorite actress in Hollywood, and she does a great job during the early scenes considering her material. When Lucy becomes emotionless, she pulls off the scenes well with some eerie twitching and eye movements, albeit her material is generally subpar.
Morgan Freeman delivers the pointless jargon and mandatory exposition using his iconic voice, and that is all he does.
Choi Min-sik (one of my favorite Korean actors) only speaks Korean in the film (without subtitles) and he is menacing enough, and Amr Waked, aka second rate Antonio Banderas, is likable in his limited role.
|Discount Antonio Banderas|
Special effects: 5.0/10- Lucy was filmed on a $40 million budget and the relatively low budget is painfully noticeable throughout with a lot of CGI that stands out.
Soundtrack: 5.0/10- Éric Serra's score is never a negative or positive to the film.
Humor: 7.7/10- Lucy's epicness is genuinely humorous at times with some decent dark comedy. On the other hand, the last part of the film is unintentionally hysterical because it is just so absurd.
Entertainment Value: 4.9/10- Certain parts of the film are genuinely entertaining; however, the film is so poorly written that it is impossible not to be distracted while watching.
Overall: 3.8/10- When the bullets are flying, Lucy can be occasionally entertaining thanks to Johansson performance and overpowered exploits. However, for a movie about brain power, Lucy is, ironically, just dumb.
Closing comments: Due to the misleading trailers, Lucy made a lot of money, and while I am glad that Johansson is successful, hopefully her future films will have decent scripts.
Recommended for: Scarlett Johansson fans, BS fans,
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