Not all movies have to be deep, meaningful experiences. Sometimes you just want to watch Scarlett Johansson kick some ass.
That’s what I was looking for when I went into “Lucy,” but outside of one or two scenes I was disappointed.
Lucy (Johansson) is an average American going to school in Taipai when her boyfriend asks her to deliver a briefcase. Sounds simple enough right? Well, not when that brief case is full of drugs and not when you’re delivering it to Mr. Jang (Min-sik Choi), the ruthless head of a Chinese drug ring.
Lucy is kidnapped and forced to become a drug mule when they surgically place a bag of this drug in her. While in transit she’s beat up and the drug bag starts to leak and Lucy begins to gain access to more parts of her brain which allows her to do all sorts of crazy shit.
She seeks out help from an expert on all things brain (Morgan Freeman) to figure out what is going on. While her brain is getting stronger her body is … kinda evaporating. Also, Jang and his men are after her so she has that to deal with too.
I loved the concept of this movie but the execution was a mess. I wanted an action-packed revenge thriller, but instead I got a sci-fi, make-you-wonder-what-if kind of thing. Scenes of Lucy’s story are spliced together with shots of National Geographic wildlife and a CGI ape to add this anthropological/ how we evolve angle that I just found tedious and not really necessary.
Johansson’s character starts out this potentially fun character with lots of personality that you really want to root for. Then, after the drugs enter her system all that disappears and she becomes a robot.
Which I get is the point, she’s going from using 10% to 100% of her brain and becoming this supercomputer and her humanity is slipping away, but it could have been done in a more gradual way. Her OS persona Samantha in “Her” had more personality and was a more sympathetic character than post-drugged Lucy.
She doesn’t even get the satisfaction of being the one to kill the bad guy. That’s rule #1: hero gets to take out the villain.
There’s a certain suspension of disbelief that comes with sci-fi films. I have no problem with Morgan Freeman telling me over and over again that humans only use 10% of their brain (no matter how scientifically untrue that maybe), or that Lucy is now telepathic and has control over every molecule in her body, or that a Paris police officer would help out Lucy and do whatever she tells him to do no questions asked.
I have a problem with uninteresting characters, using ‘it’s science FICTION’ as an excuse for sloppy storylines, and misleading trailers. (I also have a problem with unnecessary gross and graphic scenes of Lucy operating on herself, crude stitches getting ripped open, and daggers getting shoved through someone’s palms, but that’s more of a personal bias.)
“Lucy” was … fine for what it was, it just wasn’t what I wanted. A female driven action/sci-fi flick could be amazing, this was not that.