Review: Lucy

If only the writers had used more than 10% of their brains to come up with a better basis for their film…

Generally, when I’m watching a movie or reading a book, I allow it one freebie, one thing which I will just accept and that they don’t have to justify. Anything built on that, so long as it’s reasonably internally consistent is fine. In Lucy, that would have been the 10% malarkey. It’s absolute crap. And I would have been fine with it, if it didn’t underpin the entire film. Plus, it would have been so easy to avoid. Just say the drugs boost the rate of electrical / chemical reactions or something like that. Or that it added more neurons, growing more brain matter. Heck, it even would have fit better with the growth hormone idea.

It’s doubly unfortunate, since other than that it was a pretty good movie. Scarlett Johansson was amazing. She had just the right blend of vulnerable and kick ass to really sell what was happening. The progression of powers was odd, but just seeing the expression on her face–that slight tilt of her head–when she knocked out a whole hallway full of men was well worth it. Likewise, Morgan Freeman was a solid choice. The disbelief when Lucy first calls him? Priceless.

On the flip side, I did find it a little problematic that every single one of the villains in the film was Chinese–and basically none of the ‘good guys’ (for what they were). I’m all for diversity in film making… but it would be nice in general to have a better mix throughout the film industry.

One thing that seemed really strange at first but sort of grew on me was the quick cuts spaced throughout the film. When you have Lucy cornered by thugs, cut to a scene of a cheetah cornering an antelope. When Lucy’s powers are ever increasing, cut to a full screen black and white percentage of her progress. At first, it felt rather ‘film-schooly’, but it grew on me.

Overall, I just can’t let go of the 10% thing. Johansson brings it up a touch–and it works well enough as a mindless action flick. Let’s say… #5. Just below Maleficent. Perhaps we need a film with Angelina Jolie opposing Scarlett Johansson. Now that would be something to see.