The Flick Chicks

Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Lucy | Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Amr Waked, Min-sik Choi | Review

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3sm The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is MEDIOCRE Judy Thorburn

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3lg The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is MEDIOCRE

 

Lucy

French writer director Luc Besson (The Professional, Le Femme Nikita, The Fifth Element) has built a reputation for making action thrillers that feature strong, kick ass females.

He is at it again, with a sci fi action vehicle starring Scarlett Johansson.  She plays the title character, Lucy, an American living in Taipei, who is thrust into a life changing (that's an understatement) situation after her manipulative new boyfriend suddenly, and without warning, pulls a fast one, and she unwillingly becomes a drug mule for a vicious drug trafficker, Korean mob kingpin named Mr. Jang (Choi Min-sik, “Old Boy”).

A mysterious, experimental drug labeled CPH4, in the form of blue crystals encased in a see though pouch, is sewn into Lucy's stomach lining for delivery to some international destination. When she is beaten and kicked by one of her captors, the bag begins to leak sending the potent drug raging through her bloodstream, allowing her to ultimately unlock one hundred per cent of her brain power, and giving her superhuman physical and mental abilities.

In the meantime, as Lucy's predicament unfolds, the story cuts to research scientist Professor Samuel Norman (Morgan Freeman)  giving a lecture on the human brain, our potential to harness more than 10 percent of its capacity, and what could happen if we could push past that limit.

Armed with incredible new powers and guns taken from her captors, Lucy is able to escape, with the fierce determination to seek out and get even with Mr. Jang and his accomplices, thereby turning the tables on those who did this to her.

Shoot outs and chases involving bloodshed and violence ensues as she enlists a French narcotics officer (Amr Waked) along for the ride.  He is basically useless, other than being the recipient of her kiss, so that she can “remember” what is like to feel since she is aware that she is gradually losing the ability to feel pain, fear, desire, and that all things that make her human are fading away.  Eventually, Lucy makes her way to Professor Norman, who she knows is the authority on the subject of the brain's potential, after reading every one of his articles on line in super speed.

The concept of unleashing our brain power and its capabilities is promising. There have been several movies that have run with a similar premise with different degrees of success including Limitless, from a few years back, starring Bradley Cooper, and earlier this year, the more disappointing, Transcendence with Johnny Depp and costar Morgan Freeman, in a role not unlike the one he portrays here.

Lucy offers a lot of scientific talk and an interesting look into the history of human intelligence that includes our heroine's prehistoric namesake, also deemed the first of her kind. Unfortunately, in trying to mix action thriller with philosophical, thought provoker, it is too much for Besson to take on and he loses his grip on the subject matter, often veering into the realm of silly and absurd.  Apparently, the filmmaker was more focused on delivering a fast paced action thriller first and foremost, and winds up throwing logic and reason to the wayside.

Johansson, no stranger to portraying a superhero (Black Widow in The Avengers franchise), takes girl power to the extreme, aptly filling the shoes and persona of a headstrong (in more ways than one) woman trying to hold on to whatever essence of humanity she can, before....well that would be a spoiler.

Although there are sparks of brilliance and originality, Besson has crafted a film that is marred by too many flaws. Rather than opening the mind with its possibilities, the end result is a story that just messes with your brain.

 

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