run time: 90 mins
considered: Action, Sci-Fi
director: Luc Besson
starring: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Min-sik Choi, Amr Waked, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Pilou Asbaek, Analeigh Tipton, Nicolas Phongpheth, jan Oliver Schroeder, Luca Angeletti, Loic Brabant, Pierre Grammont, Pierre Poirot, Bertrand Quoniam, Pascal Loison
movie summary: In foreign countries it is a common practice (in movies at least) to find some desperate foreigner to smuggle drugs. Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) is a down on her luck American girl who parties hard and hangs out with dead beat guys. After being convinced by her boyfriend to deliver a briefcase full of drugs for $500, Lucy meets a group of guys who introduce her to a drug that will change her life.
In the penthouse suite of a fancy hotel is a well-known drug lord named Mr. Jang (Min-sik Choi). Jang has a small army of guards and is busy washing his hands after killing three people. Lucy cries and pleads to be set free but he will have nothing of it. He instructs her to open the case while he leaves the room in case it’s a bomb. When Lucy enters the code and opens the case she finds four bags of crystal drugs. Jang offers her a good paying job to deliver these drugs but she refuses and gets knocked out. When Lucy wakes up her stomach is wrapped in blood stained bandages and she’s in a lot of pain. After a few minutes she’s dragged into room along with four other guys with similar stomach injuries. Jang instructs them to take their passports and return to their home countries where his men will meet them at the airport and take back their drugs.
While in transit to the airport Lucy is harassed by two guys who try to take advantage of her, when she refuses they beat the crap out of her causing the bag of drugs to burst open and float into her blood stream. Within minutes Lucy feels the effects of the drugs which cause her to have seizures, when they finally stop she feels heightened senses that allow her to take the men out when they return. Armed and extremely dangerous Lucy forces her way at gun point to the hospital where she shoots someone on an operation table and takes his spot. The doctors begin to faint at Lucy’s injury and angry gun waving, she demands that they cut her open and take the drugs out. She calls her mom and tells her that she loves her and she can remember everything from her childhood and doesn’t have much time left to live. Lucy’s mom thinks she might be partying too much but when the doctors explain that Lucy’s bloodstain has become infected with a synthetic drug that is used to aid fertility couples, she knows her end is near. Lucy has had a large portion enter her body which has raised her brains capacity from the normal 10% to levels around 30%. When she leaves the hospital she returns to her apartment where she goes online to learn several languages and do research on the human brain all within a couple of seconds. She comes across the work of world-renowned brain specialist Professor Norman (Morgan Freeman) who is currently in Paris giving a lecture. Thanks to her new powers which include the ability to see through things, telekinesis, and time travel, she beams herself through webcam to the Professor’s hotel room TV where she explains her situation. Professor Norman is impressed with Lucy’s powers which have opened up her brain to 40% capacity. The pair agree to meet so he can examine her but time is not on her side since Jang is looking for her and her brain capacity keeps raising meaning she will could die soon. No one in human history knows exactly what happens when the brain exceeds its normal capacity let alone function past 50%.
Lucy dons a disguise for her trip and contacts a detective, Del Rio (Amr Waked) in Paris to catch the four other guys smuggling drugs. They meet up in Paris where he has managed to capture the guys, Jang has traveled to Paris also to kill Lucy himself. En route to the police station Jang has intercepted his packages forcing Lucy to drive recklessly across the city while her brain capacity kicks up to the 60% level. When Lucy reaches the station she engages in a battle with Jang’s men which she easily wins by disarming them. She grabs the three other drug packages before going to the University to meet Professor Norman and his colleagues. She crushes the drugs into a powder form to be mixed with an IV, Jang and his thugs have gathered outside the University and plan to ambush the building to get their drugs back. Lucy injects herself with the rest of the drugs to super charge her brain and jump from 70% to 100% in an instant.
Del Rio’s and Jang’s men engage in a gun battle in the hallways while Lucy begins to show the professors what the human mind and body can do when it unlocks the deepest parts of the brain. When the bullets stop flying and the body count piles up Jang manages to find Lucy except she is not here anymore.
my thoughts: The trailer for Lucy portrayed Scarlett Johansson to be one bad ass girl on a mission that would make her Marvel Black Widow character look like a kitty cat. Amazingly that’s exactly we got in this movie which is just a fast paced guns a blazing thrill ride that focuses on the capabilities of a human when they unlock the mysterious of the brain.
Johansson has the beauty, skill, and moves to pull off the role of Lucy flawlessly without much effort. Although the actual story is very scientific and unrealistic, it is just there to fill in the gaps between action scenes. Most of you know or should know that we only use about 10% of our brains and the other 90% has been a mystery for the smartest people on earth for a long time. Lucy is an innocent girl who just ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time but because of her situation she is able to shed some light on one of mankind’s most puzzling problems. As Lucy’s brain starts to unravel the deep dark mysterious the director had to take creative liberties to give the audience a glimpse of the potentials of such a discovery. For a girl who has lived a wild life with no real purpose or direction she realizes she must do the right thing and pass her knowledge on. Thanks to her new abilities and senses Johansson elevates Lucy into a hero for defeating the drug cartel and bringing meaning to Morgan Freeman’s character’s work on the human brain.
Lucy clocks in at an hour and thirty minutes which doesn’t allow for much character development but there doesn’t need to be much. You get the picture of a down on her luck girl who turns into a super bad ass killing machine with about 24 hours to life. The story is pretty straight forward and predictable in certain areas but with the gaps in story and action Luc Besson throws in many historical flashbacks and pointless images about life that fit this quirky sci-fi story.
my final thoughts: I saw both new movie releases on Friday night and Lucy was such a better film then Hercules. It has a lot of action and violence to please a certain genre of movie goers while being thought-provoking enough to engage your mind to wonder how real this story could be.
my star rating: 7 out 10
rottentomatoes.com: 59% out 100
rogerebert.com: 3 out 4