When Lucy is exposed to a powerful new drug, she starts experience the world in a new as he brain capacity increases. But what happens when she reaches 100 percent…?
There’s a pretty quick way to summarise Lucy, it’s bloody nuts.
While the trailers for Luc Besson’s latest might sell it as a female focussed action jaunt, in the vein of his previous effort La Femme Nikita and The Fifth Element, it’s actually an entirely different film. The promise of bullets and boobies might draw you in but the reality is this is a hardcore sci-fi flick masquerading as everyday entertainment.
Which is also what makes it kind of fantastic. Besson has the cache to be able to pitch a project this barmy and not only have a studio go along with it but also cast a massive star like Scarlett Johansson and give it a huge international marketing push.
In many ways, that makes Lucy more akin to a project like Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain – a movie that is clearly much more about ideas than it is about formalities like characters or action. But I’ve never quite seen a film deal with cerebral notions in this way.
For one thing, Besson’s pace here is absolutely frantic. He has a huge amount to get through in just 89 minutes and goes hell for leather from the off. That includes odd asides like introducing imagery from nature documentaries showing prey/predator relationships as Johansson gets into deep water and cutting out entire long distance journeys) to ensure we don’t get a moment of downtime.
Still, we have to wait almost a third of the film before Lucy actually gains her powers but from then on it’s a breathless race to the finish line. It’s not exactly action packed but Besson is smart enough to know that clever conversations aren’t going to keep an audience on board, finding plenty for her to do as her cerebral powers grow – including a cg heavy but fairly entertaining car chase.
Few of the other elements work particularly well, like Amr Waked’s completely confused Parisian cop or the villain played be Choi Min-ski. Even Morgan Freeman doesn’t have much to do here, other than provide exposition in that memorable voice of his.
But it somehow doesn’t matter. By the time Lucy gets to its trippy, concept-heavy, gorgeously designed finale you’ll already be invested enough to go along for the nutty ride Besson has in store. And I found it zanily entertaining.