Lowdown: A woman forced into becoming a drug mule turns into an avenging superhero in the process.
Say what you say about Luc Besson, he does have his trademark touch on films. Trying to distill this touch into its core components, I would say these narrow into extreme action scenes, European flavouring, and a whole lot of nonsense. Besson’s latest, Lucy, sports all of the above. Especially the nonsense.
We meet the young American Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) at Taipei with her obviously dodgy week long boyfriend Richard (Pilou Asbæk, whom I am cherishing for his performance as Kasper Juul in Borgen). Richard is twisting Lucy's arm, literally, in order to make her deliver a package for him. We quickly learn the package is to be delivered to a gang of particularly ruthless oriental drug dealers. Those dealers distribute their wares by kidnapping people, planting drugs inside their bodies, and then forcing them to act as drug mules or die. Lucy is “lucky” enough to be one of those drug mules, only that in her case they beat her up a bit too much, causing the hidden drugs to burst. As drugs do, they turn our Lucy into a superhero!
Lucky for us, Besson makes sure we know the theory behind the supernatural. He even recruits Morgan Freeman to act out the professor telling us that our minds only act to 10% of their potential*, and that if we manage to unleash even a bit more then we would be able to achieve miracles. You know, mind over matter stuff. As it happens, Lucy gets more and more drugs in her system, thus gradually increasing her abilities into the realm of the god like. Did I mention this movie is heavy on the bullshit?
What does one do with god like abilities? Obviously one could take science into the next level and sort this world’s problems, but that won’t do this movie so it focuses on Lucy’s spectacular Parisian vengeance. Thus Besson delivers his trademark European touch, and I will admit: having action scenes led by non Americans is a bit of a refreshing affair. Does it compensate for all the bullshit, though?
Overall: Lucy’s got the action, yes, but it doesn’t have anything we haven’t seen before. Other than the almost unprecedented amount of bullshit, that is. 2.5 out of 5 clueless crabs for this girl.
* Yes, human conscience utilises some 10% of the brain, but that doesn’t mean the other 90% is idle. Evolution would have ensured effective utilisation of our brain for whatever our ancestors needed to survive; maintaining a costly brain at 10% utilisation is a recipe for guaranteed extinction. In other words, Besson is 90% full of sh*t.