Scarlett Johansson’s ‘Lucy’ will challenge you intellectually
French writer cum director Luc Besson, whose work includes The Fifth Element, The Lady, The Professional, La Femme Nikita and Taken, is back to captivate the moviegoers with a high-concept hypothetical thriller – Lucy. It is a compelling hybrid, graced by volatility and lots of violence, intermingled by surreal bedlam that will challenge you intellectually.
The creative inspiration of Lucy is based on a philosophical point of view that humans use merely 10 percent of their brain capacity, and if someone unlocks the rest of this cerebral capability, they will ultimately develop superpowers.
Lucy is a story of an American woman, Lucy, played by Scarlett Johansson, studying in Taiwan, who is forced to be a drug mule in Taipei for a drug smuggler, Choi Min-sik. A small bag of the crystalline drug CPH4 is surgically implanted into her abdomen, but the bag ruptures and the drug spreads in to her bloodstream. As a result, she develops implausible superhuman mental abilities.
The rest of the plot involves Lucy’s revenge, her struggle with her superpowers and the help of a renowned neuroscientist professor Samuel Norman, played by Morgan Freeman, who convinces her to transfer her cerebral capability on to a computer.
Sounds quiet familiar?
Doesn’t the story of Lucy progress and end similar to the movie Transcendence? Let’s leave these questions for you to find out. Here, I will only add the ending narration which says,
“Life has been given to us a billion years ago, now you know what to do with it.”
Luc Besson’s Lucy is a bizarre story with lots of fierce fighting scenes, nonsensical car stunts and abundance of odd metaphors. The sci-fi features are artistically presented, for instance, the surreal images of Times Square, New York City, from modern times to history and from prehistory to the instigation of time are marvellously highlighted.
However, the same degree of care is not applied to other significant things, such as justification for her capability to learn several languages and the logic behind her spontaneous changing physical appearances. The screenplay also fluctuates a lot and lacks consequential reasoning in script, for example the philosophical narrations of the movie say,
“Time, it is not only a unit of measurement, without time we do not exist.”
Besson’s leading ladies always personified femininity as well as the strength of a woman. Johansson is an astounding combination of both these qualities for which Besson selected her. Lucy is Johansson’s third sci-fi in a row. First she voiced the role of the operating system, Samantha, in Her and then in Under the Skin as a mysterious alien.
Her charisma is captivating as a leading lady’s should be. Her character shines particularly as a naïve girl caught in dreadful circumstances and petrified during the drug leakage in her bloodstream before changing into the shrewd, more or less robotic sort of a stranger. Johansson is proving herself to be a remarkable choice for action movies.
The unfailing Morgan Freeman plays, more or less, the same limited character as he did in Transcendence. His acting skills are quite wasted in both films. The only positive thing is his convincing tone which provides some credibility to the scientific research on which the Lucy’s anecdote is based.
Overall, Lucy is an exhilarating 90 minutes journey for those spectators who love to enjoy fast-paced, action thrillers based on outlandish subjects with lots of special effects – dangerously low on rationalisation.
On the contrary, Lucy is not made for serious moviegoers; it doesn’t make any logical connotation and lacks intriguing ideas like Transcendence had in favour of artificial intelligence. So, for a Transcendence admirer, Lucy is an absolutely tasteless dessert.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.