Lucy is a film directed by Luc Besson, a filmmaker who is known to put style over substance in the movies he directs. This was most famously noted in The Fifth Element, his other blockbuster film you may have heard of. When I saw the trailer for this film it looked kick-ass. It seemed to be a blend of science fiction, action, superhero and a bit exploratory of superhumanism, everything I love. Then I saw the film, and, lets just say it was not quite what I expected.
This film reminds me a lot of Transcendence in a weird way. It is a film where the main character is not a protagonist, but rather simply a person who rises above the human condition for whom socially constructed morality and ethics no longer seemed to matter. However, where Transcendence was a poignant essay of super-intelligence and the human condition, Lucy was a sketch bordering on being a parody of its own ideas. For a film that addresses intelligence, it ironically lacks in some.
Scarlett Johansson gives an emotionless performance as the eponymous Lucy, which is pretty much how the character is written post-transformation, but sadly removes any tension or emotional investment I had going for her character. However it's the logic behind her intelligence as well as the actions she takes as the superhuman that is a real enigma to me. If you decide to check this film out you'll quickly realize how much restraint I'm having by not doing a nitpicking section!
Having said that, I found myself laughing at the sheer amount of things that shouldn't work; the strange pacing of various parts of the story, the cutaway scenes interleaved with the story that is literally headbutting you with allegories, and the often rapid unexplained character developments that happen so fast it's almost as if a few scenes were omitted from the theatrical release. The action sequences are somewhat creative, and the film's philosophy, while clumsily preached, has some merit.
Perhaps I am fatigued from my overlong rant of Guardians last week, but this film literally shut my brain off for me, and by the end I was just enjoying the pretty visuals and not giving a damn about its story, characters or philosophy. It starts with the premise that humans only use 10% of their brains, and by the end, I am convinced that the production team only used 10% of their brain in the making of this film, and encourages me to also watch this film with only 10% of my own brain switched on.
With that, I would class Lucy as one of those "so bad it's kind of awesome" films. It is enthusiastically silly, so I'd put it just a bit above Transformers 4 and a bit below Guardians. It is Transcendence on Hollywood-flavoured steroids, yet without the intelligence it is trying to sell.
4.0 / 10.0