- Starring: Scarlett Johansson (The Avengers), Morgan Freeman (Transcendence), Min-sik Choi (Oldboy) and more.
- Directed by: Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, Leon: The Professional).
- Synopsis: “‘From La Femme Nikita and The Professional to The Fifth Element, writer/director Luc Besson has created some of the toughest, most memorable female action heroes in cinematic history. Now, Besson directs Scarlett Johansson in Lucy, an action-thriller that tracks a woman accidentally caught in a dark deal who turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.”
- Rating: R for violence, drug use, suggestive material.
- Must-Watch Trailer:
Scarlett Johansson’s first time as the solo-lead in a wide-release full-length feature that focuses on her character (not really counting The Black Dahlia or Under the Skin) is an action-packed scifi thriller that is both intriguing and fun, yet lacks the overall punch to make it great. Directed by Luc Besson, director of other great character-centric action films such as La Femme Nikita, The Fifth Element, Leon: The Professional, etc, the femme fighter trend continues and could be viewed as perhaps a Black Widow movie prequel, a Transcendence sequel or perhaps even the love child of the movies Limitless and The Matrix.
Prior to the film’s release I noticed several social media posts blasting the idea of the film’s premise and refusal to watch it based on the “ridiculous plot and unrealistic premise.” My reply to those sentiments: The genre of the film is scifi…aka science fiction…emphasis on FICTION! And, just in case the definition is needed, I have provided, courtesy Google, below:
So, in other words…calm down and enjoy the fictional story built upon a foundation of imagined scientific hypotheses and conjecture. It’s only a movie…not a documentary! (No one seemed to mind in the movie Limitless or The Matrix or The Avengers! ijs)
That said, the movie starts off immediately immersing viewers into the world Besson has created. Craftily using cinematography and characters to tell the story, Besson entertains and engrosses audiences and makes a perhaps outlandish plot begin to seem plausible (aided tremendously by the authoritative and convincingly smooth voice of one Morgan Freeman).
It is Scarlett that carries the film through to the end, accompanied by an altogether forgettable supporting cast and the impressive camerawork used during the action sequences that never quite take off. Blending story with science and shootouts, Lucy begins to find its focus on the titular character and then makes a detour down “derailment road” as it turns the bend into the final stretch of its 89 minute course.
After some neat action, including a car chase through the streets of Paris, a trip down evolution’s memory lane, a scary drug delivery gone way wrong, a professor who is used throughout the film as the narrative explanatory device of the film, some X-Men type mutant ability show and tell, and a bunch of stereotypical white-shirt/black suit and tie bad guys that look unsuspicious to the rest of the world…the film brings about an ending that is more of a tidy copout and is far from desired.
Lucy is not just about a girl with the induced ability to use the entire capacity of her brain after a run-in with the wrong crowd and then goes on a rampage of revenge. It is about what it means to be human (though dependent on an overwhelming acceptance of the theory of evolution) and entertains the notion of what humanity could accomplish if we would only…use our brains! 🙂
As much as I love Scarlett Johansson…and she does a decent job in this, albeit her acting -and everyone else’s- in this film won’t win any Oscars, Lucy never climbs to the level of “great” although it was definitely entertaining watching her use her abilities in different ways. The beauty and brilliance of Scarlett’s role ends up diminished by the final act that erodes the built up acceptability of the film’s events and sacrifices what could’ve been as great or as fun of a final act as in Leon: The Professional or Taken (written by Besson) or The Fifth Element and settles for the possibility of a sequel instead. The end definitely did not justify the means. Sorry, Scarlett.
My Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars for Lucy
(Remember, to read this review of mine and over 300 more, check out THE ARCHIVE of movies I have reviewed anytime. Know before you go…or rent…or buy!)
Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!
–T, The Focused Filmographer
up next: Review for HERCULES