89 Min | Action – Sci-Fi | July 2014
IMDB Rating: 6.6
Director: Luc Besson
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Min-sik Choi
Lucy Review: That is, a familiar theme for the director, Luc Besson. Lucy, the protagonist, is very much a cross between Nikita and Leeloo the Fifth Element, with a touch of the anime ‘Akira’ and Chayefsky’s ‘Altered States’ thrown into the mix. There were some great moments in Lucy, but, on the whole, it wasn’t as dark and intense as ‘La Femme Nikita’, or as entertaining as ‘The Fifth Element’. Don’t get me wrong, Johansson gives an excellent performance, as an initially carefree student who through a very nasty set of circumstances is trapped into serving a drug kingpin as a mule, carrying a surgically implanted packet of a new drug with some shall we say remarkable properties.
When she resists a rape attempt by one of his goons, this suicidally stupid henchman kicks her in the stomach several times, rupturing the packet. Since unless they just hired him that day, you’d think this flunky should have some inkling of what his sadistic, cold-blooded killer of a boss would do to him if he found out and he pulled this stunt in front of another henchman, the guy must have had a major death wish. Or very poor impulse control. Or the IQ of something from the back of the refrigerator. Or all of the above. Anyway, through the miracle of scientific-sounding mumbo-jumbo, we find out that the drug which has leaked into Lucy’s bloodstream is expanding her consciousness and giving her superhuman abilities. This leads to lots of special effects and general mayhem, as well as the obligatory car chase.
Generally, anything Besson directs is well worth a look. There are some marvelously trippy sequences showing the effects of the drug on her perceptions, and some humorous moments, like when her body tries to rebel while she’s on an airliner. In Lucy, Johansson deftly manages her mental transformation into something both more and less than human, making her performance chilling and touching, sometimes both at once. It’s true that at first, the drug turns Lucy into a ruthless killer. But as her consciousness expands, she stops killing, even though it would have been easy for her to squash people like bugs. Not Besson’s best, but still a nice alternative to your usual mindless summer blockbuster. Worth seeing.