Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Review: Lucy

(2014) Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Min-Sik Choi

I went into Lucy hoping for a short and sweet action movie with slight helping of food for thought, I am pleased to say this film had a lot more to offer than high kicks and gun fights.
The premise was super simple, Chinese baddies kidnap her and place a cache of drugs inside her tummy, Lucy is then savagely beaten by some of the thugs on her way to the drop off point and the cache bursts releasing the chemical drug into her system. The drug has irreversible effects and the sheer amount of the substance allows our heroine to unlock 100% of her brain capacity.
Lucy then sets off on a mission for revenge using her new 'symptoms' to aid her, she also aims to share her knowledge with a Professor who has been researching the secrets of higher brain capacity.
The main strength of this film was its small but extremely well selected cast, Min-Sik Choi as the villain was as chilling as ever. If you have seen Old Boy or the gruesome I Saw The Devil you will know how good he is at being menacing. Morgan Freeman did what Morgan Freeman does and made even the most mundane sentence feel heartfelt and commanded your attention every time he appeared on screen. Last but not least Scarlett Johansson (I refuse to use the name Scar Jo) gave a a much more realistic and emotional performance than anything she has done in her previous Marvel films. There was one particular scene in which after increasing her brain capacity to 20% and abandoning her sense of pain, she chats to her mother on the telephone reciting her earliest memories. All this while Doctors remove the damaged drugs cache under no anaesthetic what so ever, it made for a very intense scene and was the standout moment of the film for me.
These moments sadly became less frequent as her brain capacity increased Lucy became less human and acted more like a self-preservation focused machine. This was disappointing as the early scenes really showcased Johansson's talent. The action scenes were above average mixing blends of clever martial arts sequences, gunfights and Matrix style effects. It was a real treat to see Lucy use these abilities to gain the upperhand in situations but much like the acting, these scenes quickly became tiresome as she became almost invincible. The sense the she was in any danger what so ever went completely out the window, I knew full well she could cope with anything that was thrown at her. And believe me they threw everything at her, rocket launchers included!
In the films final act the action surrounded Lucy slowed down and was placed in the hands of secondary chararcters, this gave the chance for the philosophical elements to shine. These parts of the film were interesting and provided some real food for thought but were put to rest as the credits rolled. These idea like most of the movie started off with a bang but sadly ended with a fizzle.


Lucy had the foundations of a solid action film with interesting sci-fi premise behind it, i just wish all these elements were fleshed out slightly more. This is by no means a bad film, you can come to this and witness some great acting, high octane action and maybe even leave with some food for thought. Unfortunately a few cut corners prevented Lucy from reaching full capacity.


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