Lucy: Review

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC I Love Lucy

By Seyi Odusanya.

You know something? Scarlett Johansson is a bloody good actress. That lady is utterly fantastic in Her, Under the Skin and she’s great here too. She’s immediately sympathetic as a woman who’s coerced by Korean mob boss Choi Min-Sink (Oldboy) into smuggling a crazy new drug that allows us mortals to access more than 10% of our brain (yeah that stupid myth again). Scarlett sells the terror and confusion that Lucy feels, we like her and we want her to overcome her perilous situation and get out in one piece. She really is the best thing about Lucy, and it’s a great shame that director Luc Besson can’t resist turning this film into a stupid, mindless power fantasy. As soon as Lucy gets her superpowers she is no longer relatable, no longer sympathetic; she becomes an all-powerful demigod in a world with no rules.

This film will draw many comparisons to Limitless due to the similar premise, but Lucy isn’t Limitless starring Scarlett Johannsson, this film is more like Transcendence, a film with a really intriguing idea but one that’s ultimately squandered. The idea of Lucy’s sudden power boost should have interesting implications on her as a person and for the first 20 minutes it does. Lucy’s new powers redefine how she sees not only herself, but other people and the entire world. There’s a great scene where Lucy calls her mother and tries to explain what’s happening to her, she can remember everything that happened to her even while she was still in the womb, she remembers all the love and care her parents gave to her and it brings closer to the people she cares about. It’s demonstrates what the film is capable of; showing how these powers effect Lucy as a human being. That would’ve been a film to see, but no! Luc Besson says “Screw that! Let’s show what cool thing Lucy can do next! “Then the film descends into utter stupidity as Lucy turns on God-Mode.

Almost from start to finish nothing in this film makes sense despite Professor Morgan Freeman lecturing us all in the first 20 minutes on the endless possibilities that comes exceeding the 10% barrier, and to the film’s credit it’s mostly cool and entertaining, at first. Lucy can fell no pain, remember every experience she’s ever had, read minds, control her own atomic structure, all this leads her to experience the universe in a new way. As cool as it sounds, it quickly turns into the film’s biggest problem as Lucy grows in power, all semblance of threat and conflict disappear entirely, so why should I care about what happens to Lucy when nothing can pose a threat to her anymore, the Korean criminals who chase after Lucy become annoying flies that she can swat away with a simple wave of her hand. I wasn’t angry with Lucy in the end, it had a great start but left me disappointed; it chose spectacle over it character and wasted a great performance from Scarlett Johannsson.


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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.

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    Jon 3rd September 2014

    I can only agree. I really wanted to like this film and with Luc Besson and Scarlett Johansson it held so much promise. At the end I really didn’t care what happened – it seemed to want to use CGI rather than storytelling.

  • Avatar
    Peggy 12th April 2016

    I just watched this one on HBO the other night as I couldn’t fathom spending $$$ to see it.. I must say I’ve a giggle reading that SJ is a wonderful actress in this one.. She went from wooden to…more wooden.. as she mostly does in all her films. And I completely agree what you say about the film.. so glad I waited. 🙂


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