“Lucy,” by writer/director Luc Besson, is a contemporary era (rather than futuristic) Sci-Fi flick, immersed in the dark underworld of international drug running.
If you are sensitive to scenes involving blood, torture, execution by gun, or weirdly morphing ooze, don’t bother with this one. The film is rated “R” for strong violence, disturbing images and sexuality. I thought this was a very smart film. I liked it.
First off, the concept of the film is intriguing: what would happen if a human suddenly were able to increase the percentage of her brain to which she had access?
Movie poster for ‘Lucy.’ Courtesy/Reel Deal Theater
Forced into a role as a drug-running mule for Taiwanese mobsters, Lucy finds the bag inserted into her abdomen has burst when the bad guys beat her up.
The crystals of the substance (all she knows is that it is something newly developed that will make you smarter), enter her bloodstream and she is increasingly able to outsmart the mobsters, gather knowledge from all of biological and cosmic history, control her metabolism and control other people.
She contacts Professor Norman, an expert on brain science, (happily) living in Paris, to get his help, asking what to do with all she is learning. He sets her up to be studied by the best brain scientists available. In the meantime, the bad guys want their stuff and will go anywhere in the world to get it back from her and kill anybody who gets in their way.
Weird premise, perhaps, and the “we only use 10 percent of our brains” thing is actually a fallacy. But I came out of the theater saying “wow!” with a big smile on my face, which doesn’t happen often with films. I loved this movie (except for the blood and killing and bad guys, but that’s what made it an action flick).
Scarlett Johansson is terrific in this role. As always, she did not disappoint. Morgan Freeman plays the professor, not a challenging role, but he is always fun to watch. Despite all the other people in the film, the whole show is Johansson’s. Watching her go from an emotional, ditzy party girl to a stoic superhero is fun.
A parallel is drawn at the beginning of the film with “Lucy” the Australopithecus supposed “mother of us all,” and there are computer generated images of the history of creation, even to the beginning of the cosmos, thrown in as Lucy expands her capacity for all of human knowledge.
It wants to be a brainiac movie and there are many of those living in my town.
Okay, so Christopher Orr of the Atlantic absolutely hated this movie. But don’t read his review unless you’ve decided not to go see it.