It was supposed to be a simple job. All Lucy had to do was deliver a mysterious briefcase to Mr. Jang. But immediately Lucy is caught up in a nightmarish deal where she is captured and turned into a drug mule for a new and powerful synthetic drug. When the bag she is carrying inside of her stomach leaks, Lucy's body undergoes unimaginable changes that unlocks her mind's full potential 100%. With her new-found powers, Lucy turns into a merciless warrior intent on getting back at her captors. She receives invaluable help from Professor Norman, the leading authority on the human mind, and French police captain Pierre Del Rio.
Directed by: Luc Besson
. Starring: Scarlett Johansson
, Morgan Freeman
, Min-sik Choi
, Amr Waked
, Julian Rhind-Tutt
, Pilou Asbæk
, Analeigh Tipton
, Nicolas Phongpheth
, Jan Oliver Schroeder
, Luca Angeletti
, Loïc Brabant
, Pierre Grammont
, Pierre Poirot
. Music by: Eric Serra
The film is directed by Luc Besson of Fifth Element fame and stars Scarlett Johansson as the titular Lucy and Morgan Freeman as a university professor studying the abilities of the mind. To start off with, I found the directing to be rather good in terms of economic story telling and the classic show don't tell rule. There is actually far less exposition in this film than in others with similar aspirations of philosophical grandeur. There are some scenes where characters who shouldn't really know what Lucy is doing at a given moment yet they conveniently explain it for the audience but these are plot contrivances and I think over all the screen play is well paced and efficient.
The acting is definitely not Oscar bait nor is it done with any subtly but I felt it was more than serviceable. Scarlett Johansson sells the awkward demeanor of her character pre-powers very well. The problem I had with her performance was her monotone personality after getting her cerebral abilities though I am fully aware this is likely due to the way her character is written. Though one thing I did like a lot was the confidence Johansson was portraying after receiving her powers despite her line readings being a tad flat. She definitely sells she knows she's a bad ass and she pulls off struggling with her detachment from humanity well. Morgan Freeman is pretty much good in everything he does and he certainly sounds like a learned scholar in this film. I had definite flash backs to Through The Wormhole with his performance here even if his science is a tad off.
Luc Besson was certainly adequate form in this film. I found his camera work was lacking in the artistic department but he made up for it in by building suspenseful moments and exciting car chases and action scenes. It wasn't Die Hard by any means, but it was a fun ride watching Lucy execute her powers. A real problem with his directing is the intercut animal kingdom sequences which forces the metaphor on you. There is no subtly here the film tells or shows you everything you need to know and there's not a whole lot of room for interpretation. There's no real ambiguity.
I did enjoy the special effects. I think it struck the perfect balance in terms of CGI scenes showing the human anatomy in real time(think Fight Club but a bit more grandiose in its approach and having real sets and characters. I don't think the effects are grounding breaking or anything but they definitely serve the film well.
Okay, now onto the screenplay. I think this is probably the biggest flaw in the movie outside of plot contrivances because it simply tries to explore concepts I don't think the film is capable of doing. They spend time talking about human evolution by Johansson narrating, the creation of the universe, what in this meaning of life and how far Homo Sapien has come. These are all concepts I enjoy exploring in a film that has more nuance. In this movie it's all shoved into your face a bit too heavy handed though I will say they did show us the connection between this philosophical concepts instead of just telling us how they do. I think that's good story telling but the problem is the film doesn't know what it wants to be. Is it an action flick? A chick flick? A female James bond movie? The story moves at an abundantly fast pace but what is and doesn't take enough time to really explore these concepts. Any scene that has these concepts are given just enough time to let us know there is a theme there but it never explores it adequately. It's like the film is shouting "hey look this is a metaphor for this" and ripe with obvious parallels. These are great concepts to explore but they need to be more subtle. It's as if the film thinks it's smarter than it actually is.
I didn't even notice the score too much to be honest though I did like the sequence with Mozart's requiem. I wish the film could have had more of that gravitas instead of the subdued score pieces. I have heard once before that you don't remember good music because it integrates so well into the film you don't even hear it. It just puts you in a subconscious mood. If you subscribe to that line of thought then you might like this soundtrack. I perform more bombastic background music to put me into the scene more.
To surmise my thoughts so far; I think it's a film with great ambition that it doesn't have the motivation to achieve. I was expecting to see a fast paced, run n gun supernatural powers type of film so I wasn't expecting Citizen Kane or Full Jacket. The film tries too hard to explore huge concepts and it is simply not deep enough to convey those philosophical ideas though it does get the benefit of the doubt for at least trying.... The acting is serviceable, the action is fresh and there are some really heartfelt moments within the film that may touch or dismiss you.
The film feels like it's the ADD, Youtubed instant gratification version of 2001: A Space Oydessy in terms of what it is trying to accomplish. Its theme and metaphor can never match the flawless implementation of the subtext in Kubrick's classic though it desperately wants to be the action version of those philosophical questions. The film doesn't know what film it wants to be and I think that's the crux of why I believe this film is only serviceable.
Review by myheartisbetweenmylegs from the Internet Movie Database.