For a movie that claims on its central character’s increasing ability to access her brain function by the minute, the screenplay of “Lucy” absolutely would have needed the potent CPH4 drug the titular character absorbed. Time and again this reviewer has acknowledged that even in the most ludicrous plot presumption, there can be an intelligent and entertaining film. “Lucy”, written and directed by Luc Besson is a mastery in confusion and it is not a compliment. It neither becomes a philosophical/scientific prowess of life and its meaning nor does it become a mindless action film with style and intensity.
Never have I seen Morgan Freeman appear so clueless in a film. Even in the most comically violent and blatantly silly “Wanted” it had him as a weird twist of a villain. He is Professor Norman explains his hypothesis on his take on existentialism with the single most brilliant tool provided to humans, mind. His lecture on it and the Q&A with attendants is one of the silliest scenes in many in this film.
By now anyone who have access to internet and cable know that Lucy played by Scarlett Johannson gets access to the entire brain. The film’s premise of the “10 percent myth” is shaky in itself but I went in for the ride with Besson as I love his “The Professional”. Not the same case out here as the film has brain of its own. Besson begins showing the ape with the background voice of Lucy beckoning on what us humans have made a world of with the minds we have got. I have to give it to Besson for setting the right tone. Lucy gets tricked by a goofy and shady character one would not trust from the get on into delivering a suitcase. As she gets into the hotel, the scene alternates between a cheetah hunting and Lucy eventually (and quite predictably) gets trapped into the hands of some really bad man. Luc Besson himself could have appeared on the side of the screen saying “Get it? Lucy is getting hunted. Are you sure you got it? Ok, just confirming”.
As much as I am dissing on this film, I also empathize rather sadly on what the thought process would have been behind this. If only there is a perfect amalgamation of entertainment a.k.a mindless action with spectacular larger than life philosophy but Luc Besson does not. Rather the film single handedly achieves in not providing no character to root for, not a single original line that distantly even resembles smart, crisp and inventive characteristics in it and finally do not provide any opportunity for the lead actors to have something to perform on.
There are movies after viewing have a tendency to be unknown on the way one feels about it. Sometimes it begins as a dislike and with time and replaying of certain memorable scenes, one begins to appreciate and becomes a spectacular film to them. There are movies which gets better with multiple viewing. “Lucy” falls in the category of (a) not remember a single scene you genuinely enjoyed and (b) the only scenes you even remember is to show how much you did not enjoy it and were rather disappointed and annoyed by it.
“Limitless” did a good spin of same kind wherein Bradley Cooper’s struggling character begin to acquire similar excellency in mind access that brings betterment to his life. It exploits that as a base but then adds some layer of how it is indeed a drug and the after effects of it. We care for that man and when he succeeds and witness who he has become, we are frightened by him. There is a connection to that personality. He becomes engaging in his arrogance but still develops a personality out of it. Lucy becomes a monotonic robot. She develops apathy and indifference after knowing everything and still has to ask a Professor on what to do. May be there is a statement out here but I lost interest by then.
Lucy’s flaws are not compensated by stunning action or poetic cinematography which most of the times becomes a redeeming factor in films like these. Talking about stunning action/poetic cinematography and larger than life concepts, the film parallels Lucy with Neo in “The Matrix”. And immediately thought how wonderful it would have been if Edgar Wright with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost did a spoof/homage to that great film? I would take out the brain of mine that I access 0% all the time (which also resulted in watching “Lucy”) and enjoy that film instead.