Scarlett Johansson plays the 25 year old Lucy who lives abroad to study and occasionally partying, when she accidentally gets herself caught in a dark deal with the Taiwan mob. She discovers a highly valuable synthetic drug called CPH4 that transforms her into a superhuman. It’s all up to Lucy to track down the drug whilst her intelligence and senses outlast any human on the planet. A French action thriller from the writer/director Luc Besson, who brought us of Leon, Joan of Arc and The Fifth Element.
Somewhere between Limitless, Kill Bill and video game Beyond Two Soul, lies the craft and brilliance that is Lucy, the name given to the first female on planet Earth. Besson sets the image of a woman manipulated psychologically, thrown into a world of men of whom treat her as an antelope running from a pack of cheetahs, she’s grabbed and smothered so she can’t walk away; but this portrayal concludes with the image of a woman who becomes untouchable. For present day Lucy, who is thrown into the house of murder and drugs, held captive and kicks much needed ass to get out, the drug CPH4 accidently gets attached to her system (possessed mode activate) and she becomes Super Woman!.. I mean super advanced. CPH4, crystallised and looking like Heisenberg’s product, is synthesised of human growth hormones to a point of complete delusion in other words, you are high and in search of the meaning of life. When the package of CPH4, sewn into her stomach, breaks, we can see physically see the warning signs all over the movie. Lucy manages to escape her captive, shoot him and the rest of the crew in four swift movements, it’s very shoot up. Fans will appreciate the immense pacing and visual allegory from previous Besson projects. Once the room is clear she gorges on whatever the pigs were eating, she has control of her metabolism and manages to extract a bullet from her shoulder, the trans- humanisation with a memory so vivid she can taste her mother’s breast milk, this is only at 28%, so you can only imagine how far the evolutionary process is willing to go! Ultimately, she controls physics and matter with her mind, she’s infamous. More should be awarded to Scarlett Johansson’s performance as a very emotion lost and intellectual like Lucy. The fights scenes are one to nod your head to, as well as the detailed images of a world cornered by experiments, the under tones of self improvement and our ever changing planet, reminding us of the difference in human forms, capabilities, knowledge of all these forgotten over time. Leaving out the questions that we use 10% of our brain, it’s almost a giggle. Yes, the whole neuroscience of this is a little farfetched to say the least, or just thrown away theories too hard to ignore, I believe it’s just a simplified way of saying “We are still evolving, and we are not impressed yet”, of all the documentaries Morgan Freeman so elegantly stars in, this will be the one where you could probably notice him on edge, but regardless, it’s a well thought out perspective that you just ignore after a while as the action progresses. As balance is fair, the action and the science, I felt a little more needed doing, perhaps longer scenes? Maybe some gore? Answered questions? Whatever my personal gripe can be, I’ll be letting it go. A fantastic watch, for viewers who indulge in classic sci-fi, Lucy begins to progress into a superhuman, to a point she’s hearing every conversation, reading minds, seeing health conditions by contact, yes more or less like Predators. Her progression from a nobody to the most powerful and dangerous female in history is emotional, funny and believable to a degree. Her purpose? Because everyone has one, to track down the other drug mules, self exploration and pushing the boundaries. Lucy is definitely a high pulp, stylised, sci-fi flick that demands to be watched to understand how credible and unique it is.
Risky, daring, silly, whatever you want to call, it’s fantastic to see a female lead with a badass streak, the documentary theme works well as we are shown beautiful moments that remind you how fragile and delicate Earth can be. Even though this looks like a synthesised science thriller that rushes leaving little hesitation, it’s almost a blessing in disguise and the key elements are there, the topic of experimental drugs is left hanging in the air. No one expects the film to be this great, and those who don’t just need to remember it is a fictional piece and if this drug were to be around, say good bye to the human race! Needless to say, watchable and left me a lot to discuss, particular the ending scene leaving my voice numb, this is looking to join the next gen of film.
Running Time: 89 minutes
Director: Luc Besson
Starring: Choi Min-Sik, Scarlett Johansson, Analeigh Tipton, Morgan Freeman
Release Date: 22nd August 2014