It’s sad to see a director whose films you’ve enjoyed, crash and burn on a particular film. However it is much worse to see a slow decline of their work that eventually leads to the worst film they have ever made. “Lucy” is that film for director Luc Besson. The trailer leads one to believe that it is an action/sci-fi thriller with Scarlett Johansson basically being a bad-ass. What you actually get is a film that is unable to follow through on just about everything it tries to do. This in it of itself is even more confusing when you have no idea what it’s trying to do in the first place.
Lucy (Johansson) is, I guess an average woman who is going to school in Taiwan when she gets forced into a shady deal with some bad people. Min-sik Choi (Oldboy) is the evil drug lord who forces Lucy to transport a new drug out of the country. When the bag of drugs that has been surgically inserted into her stomach bursts inside her she begins to unlock the parts of her brain that, according to the smooth voice-over of Morgan Freeman as Prof. Norman we only use 10% of. She for some reason begins to develop superpowers and uses them to track down the remaining drugs also implanted in unwilling hosts around the world.
This film is so terrible, I hardly know where to begin. The story is so ludicrous that is fails to even qualify as sci-fi. The action is limited to one car chase and one gun fight. As we get further and further to her reaching 100% brain capacity, you will be searching for a way to turn yours off. And for some reason there is enough nature footage in the movie for it to belong on The National Geographic Channel. When they run out of stock footage, they create their own which is just as meaningless to the narrative. As far as the acting, Johansson does everything that she can to make sense of the terrible script. You can actually see her trying to bring something to Besson’s nonsense. I don’t think they even told Choi what the movie was about, every scene he’s in could have been a credible action film to him. Morgan Freeman seems to only be there for his narration.
Besson still has films like “Leon: The Professional” and “The Fifth Element” to look back fondly on, and his written work like “Taken”, “To Paris with Love”, and the Transporter series have their place in the action genre. “Lucy” though, is unable to be categorized, and maybe that was Besson’s point when he made the film. Nevertheless, it takes itself too seriously while trying to be goofy, and fails to give you enough in any other genre for it to be interesting or entertaining in any way.
–Robert L. Castillo