Lucy is a film that showed up last summer, and it looked kind of promising, but it also looked like another superhero movie. Yes, there are a lot of them these days. I’m not certain if you know this, but Marvel films has a lot of movies coming out based in its own universe, then DC has a whole bunch coming out as well. In fact, the next few years is so full of superhero movies that adding another to the mix could easily not be noticed.
Unlike most superhero movies, Lucy is not based on any graphic novel. Another thing that it doesn’t have with super hero movies is that it has a female protagonist. Generally, these don’t really work; think Tank Girl, Catwoman, and Supergirl. At least the film’s title character doesn’t have a skintight costume or fancy name. Then again, Scarlett Johansson already has that as Black Widow from the Marvel films.
Okay, now that I think of it, it isn’t proper to call Lucy a superhero movie as it really is just about a woman who just happens to get super-powers. The premise behind the powers is simply not believable, and the film could have been done without the supernatural element.
I should probably get to the synopsis of the plot. Lucy is a woman traveling and takes a job being a drug mule. Actually, she takes a job that is clearly illegal as some courier, but it ends up that the man she’s working for knocks her out and performs some surgery on her. Lucy finds that she is carrying some drugs in her system that are designed to get past airport security.
At some point, Lucy gets taken by the bad guys. I can’t remember if these are the same bad guys that she was working for or what. My point is that bad guys take her, and injure her so that the sack of drugs within ruptures. Lucy is then forced into an overdose of this stuff, which has the power to increase your intelligence.
What happens next is Lucy uses her newfound powers to escape the bad guys in a manner that would make Jason Bourne jealous. Sadly, this stuff is affecting Lucy in a really negative way, and she actually takes doctors at gunpoint in an effort to get rid of it. The doctors are able to get the drugs out of her, but she needs some real help.
This help comes in the form of Morgan Freeman, the world’s most highly paid narrator. Freeman’s character, Professor Norman, is introduced showing him give a lecture. With this lecture is that factoid that you see on the poster, about how humans only use 10 percent of their brain.
Okay, let me just take moment to explain that this isn’t the first time I heard of the “humans only user 10 percent of their brain” thing. In fact, I am sure you have heard that. I found an article in Scientific American that seems to say that this “fact” is nothing more than an asteroid of stupid hitting the planet of ignorant people. The fact is that all of our brain is working constantly, and I usually see another addendum to this 10 percent theory: that Albert Einstein used more than his 10 percent, which is why he was such a genius.
Well, Lucy applies this theory as she gains more than her 10 percent. In fact, the film actually stops with a still frame every time her intelligence increases by 10 percent. This is a weird artistic move by director Luc Besson. This director is known for science-fiction films that have a weird streak in them, but where his masterpiece The Fifth Element film succeeds, Lucy fails. In the former film, the editing style worked, but Lucy has scenes of nature and random stuff inserted in with only some application. For example, when Professor Norman talks about why creatures mate, we cut to animals having sex. Is this really necessary?
Lucy gets some help from the law as she informs the authorities where the other drug mules are. She knows their location because she can apparently access all of her memories, and every residual detail. I will have to admit that the scene where she uses her talents is pretty interesting, at first.
When the super-genius Lucy flies back home, she discovers that her mind is becoming to big for her britches. Shen then ducks into an airplane restroom and takes more of the drug. It was here that there is a major hole in the plot. If Lucy can transport these drugs onto the plane without them being detected, then why did the bad guys need her to be a drug mule in the first place?
Yeah, this isn’t a film that didn’t put too much thought in details like that. I do have to give Scarlett Johansson some compliments on her performance, and she uses her powers to manipulate objects and electronics in a way that is neat. The problem is that the character gets so powerful, that when bad guys come after her, I don’t see it as any problem. The ending reminds me of the whole Dark Phoenix saga from X-men, a storyline done much better in the comics rather than in the third X-men movie. Too bad Lucy doesn’t end like that Dark Phoenix comic book saga, and the ending is as odd as 2001: A Space Odyssey.