Lucy follows the story of Lucy (no last name included) who is studying in Taiwan. The day before an exam she is tricked into taking some drugs to a drug lord named Mr Jan. She sees her boyfriend get killed before being abducted and with three other people, has the drugs sewn into her abdomen. Her abusive captors kick her in the stomach causing the bag holding the drugs to split, which as it enters her system it allows her to unlock more than 10% of her brain. As the percentage increases she gains a greater series of powers, starting with being able to read people’s minds, to being able to manipulate her appearance, to manipulating the world around her, to then some absurdly over the top powers later on.
Scarlet Johansen absolutely owns the role; she really is absolutely fantastic from start to finish. At the start of the film she is a scared student who then grows into a confident badass, then emotionless, almost robotic in nature, as she depicts human life becoming only of small significance. All of the stages that she changes into, you change with her. The film does not explain her motives or why she changes, you just feel it as it happens. This is just another film where Scarlett proves why she is becoming a household action and drama star and she is in nearly scene because of it.
The biggest problem I was personally faced with in the film is its premise that we only use 10% of the brain. This theory (as it is explained by Morgan Freeman as a university professor) gives the understanding that as we unlock more use of our brain, it allows us to go as far as manipulate our surroundings. Unfortunately, this theory was debunked a long time ago. Throughout the film an increasing percentile is displayed every so often so the audience knows how much of her brain is in use. I found this only served to remind me that unlike Luc Besson’s now infamous The Fifth Element, the science in this science fiction film just is not there. This I found to be an annoyance that while the film kept reminding me about it, was only a small portion of the film.
As previously mentioned Scarlet Johansen absolutely owns the role, from the entertaining action sequences, to the more dramatic moments. Morgan Freeman does not bring a lot to his role; though that is probably because his role as the doctor who Lucy is explaining her situation to and trying to get help from does not really have a lot for Morgan Freeman to make his own, although, his narrations at points throughout the film are as good as they always are. A lot of the side characters are fine, they do their jobs well enough but as the story does not follow them too much this does not hinder the film, it just exemplifies Scarlett Johansen’s amazing acting.
All in all Lucy is a very fun action flick. It was a lot of fun to watch, but the “we only use 10% of our brain” myth being the films premise really does remove any thinking from the film as we have really started to appreciate in the sci-fi genre. It is definitely worth a watch, if nothing more than to watch Scarlett Johansen kick some ass and for some fun CGI work.
7.5/10 – A lot of fun but the science in the film does hold it back from being a brilliant film, to make it an OK film with great acting and fun action.