Luc Besson has decided to that that age old myth, that humans only use 10% of their cerebral capacity – which is incidentally untrue – and injected it with a surprisingly fast, somewhat enjoyable and rollicking action movie, headlined by the ever sophisticated Scarlett Johansson.
It must be stated straight away that Besson doesn’t want this to be a thinking man’s movie nor does he direct it with that intention in mind. The fast paced cuts, the continuous callbacks in time are meant for you to ponder in the moment but forget so as not to question what Besson is telling us. Lucy isn’t a smart film but by no means is it a dumb one.
Surprisingly, what Besson cites as inspiration, 2001 being a key factor, does rear its head in Lucy. Admittedly the film has its flaws, numerous logical holes to be exact, but it used the knowledge it possesses to arm us with extremely cheesy scenes done right. Instead of laughing at the film, I found myself nodding with a sense of satisfaction.
The presence of a strong female heroine, who walks the walk, cannot be ignored. In an age where cinematic female role models are minimal, Lucy is a damn good one. Not only does she literally hold power over every man in the film but she transforms herself from being a throwaway female character to one that ultimately changes the future of mankind – if that isn’t a strong female heroine to get behind I don’t know what is.
Having said all that, Lucy is half the film it could have been. Besson clearly wanted to make a good action film and he achieved that to a satisfactory level. But one cant help but feel a tweak here, a second writer there and some more scientific consultation could have pushed Lucy away from moments where I sat back and thought, “WHAT?!”.
Lucy is a fast paced, senseless and sometimes absurd look at evolution and revolution. It does, at times, fall on Johansson’s charisma to pull the viewer back in but it moves at a wanton pace, so as to leave questions and plot holes behind, and peppers itself with some genuinely gorgeous imagery and visuals.
Score – C-