9/14/14

LUCY - REVIEW


Well this was a movie and it happened.

As to what movie this was and what happened in it, I'm not entirely sure.

Initially, Luc Besson's latest looked like a fun but dumb sci-fi thriller about Scarlett Johansson going around kicking all sorts of butts with super powers. Admittedly, that does take place in this movie but somehow, it doesn't really work.

The main problem is that Lucy is REALLY dumb, to the point where each aspect of it becomes distracting. Hell, even the film itself is distracted as, during its first half, it keeps cutting to random footage of animals or whatever someone's talking about. If someone mentions reproduction, we get a montage of people and animals having sex, if someone mentions space, we cut to space. Some of it is obvious symbolism, some of it I think was meant to be a joke, none of it is new, edgy, funny or clever in any way. It's mostly irritating, frankly. Luckily, the plot kicks in quick and it makes even less sense than Limitless which, by the way, basically had the same concept: use more than 10% of your brain and become a superhero. After having a 1kg bag of some blue crystal substance being inserted into her stomach against her will, Johansson wakes up a bit dizzy and is sent away to transfer the goods. Unfortunately, some guy kicks her in the belly (great idea considering he's meant to be delivering said goods) and the crystals leak out. Instead of giving her the worst diarrhoea of her life or killing her, however, this enables her to access every part of her brain in increasingly ludicrous ways.

She can roll around walls and ceilings, hack into any TV or phone, make people float, make people faint, go back in time, I'm surprised she doesn't flat-out fly in this movie! She's basically like a deadly Neo and yet, for some reason, she doesn't kill the main villain when she has the chance (Choi Min-Sik, who is too good for this movie, by the way) but murders his henchmen no problem and she keeps some French cop around as a "reminder" of what humanity is. Talk about a flimsy reason to have a character in a movie. It is suggested that she might be falling apart thereby evolving into a new state of being about halfway through, which would have been interesting, but it then turns out she just needs more blue crystals. I would argue that, once she does get all these powers, the whole gangsters/French cop plot should have been abandoned for something more appropriate and involving. The film would have probably then become Transcendence, which it already kind of is, but at least it would have had the opportunity to bring a different twist to that concept.

As it stands, this just feels like you're watching a super-powerful being make dumb mistakes and essentially waste her time and yours.

Morgan Freeman is also in this movie as a scientist who churns out exposition during some dull, long lecture which seems to last for a whole half hour of the movie. Occasionally it is interrupted by stupid cutaways and awful non-actors asking him questions but that hardly helps. He becomes more useful near the end when Lucy starts having Akira-esque aspirations but, mostly, he just stands there so there's another character we didn't really need.

While Lucy does have its entertainingly absurd moments (cavewomen, space USB sticks), it's nowhere near as cool or as fun as it thinks it is and wants to be. A solid cast is wasted on an unfocused mix of unexplored sci-fi concepts and tired thriller clich├ęs.

Can't recommend this for the big screen but maybe it'll make a decent Netflix watch with some pals and a couple of beers.

Don't forget the beers, though.

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