“Lucy” A Non-stop Action-thriller (Film Review)



Out of nowhere comes Lucy a wild ride of mind over matter from Writer/Director Luc Besson.  This cunning thriller opens with excitement and never stops the action to the very end. It’s my idea of a true Sci-Fi thriller that tantalizes your brain with possibilities beyond belief, and then takes you even further with the question, What If?

The film poses the following premise: “The average person uses 10% of their brain capacity. Imagine what you could do with 100%”.  
Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) and Richard (Pilou Asbaek) are lovers and on this day we find them in front of an office building in Taiwan.  Richard is offering Lucy to do a simple job, take the briefcase he has in his hand to the concierge station and tell him it’s for Mr. Jang (Choi Min-sik).  Lucy’s very leery of such a simple task so she refuses. Richard offers her a good sum of money, yet Lucy is still hesitant.  He then handcuffs the briefcase to her wrist and she realizes there’s only one thing to do.  Go the 50 feet to the desk and give them the case. When she gets to the counter and asks for Mr. Jang, she’s met with a number of very scary henchmen who take her to the top floor to meet Mr. Jang.

Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) delivers the case to Mr. Jang

Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) delivers the case to Mr. Jang

So begins a matter of life and death for Lucy as she pummels her way from Taipei, Tiawan to Paris after she gets exposed to CPH4. It’s a mind altering chemical compound that increases her brain capacity in measures of 10% at it slowly gets absorbed into her body. Luc Besson puts on a great show laced with intensity at every twist and turn of his action packed script.  Much like his non-stop Transporter and Taken series, this film has no pause to catch your breath or loosen you fingers from the arms on your seat.  Keeping his actors moving in each frame, even Morgan Freeman as Professor Norman charges your brain with questions that are beyond belief.

Lucy on the warpath

Lucy on the warpath

Perfect for the lead as Lucy, Scarlett Johansson dominates the film with her continuous energy that floods the screen. She’s a bad ass lady who goes from timid to tenacious in the role of a woman on mission to capitalize on her super powers.  She knows the power she’s acquired and how important and dangerous it can be in the wrong hands.  Taking down a force to be reckoned with, her body transports the secrets to Professor Norman who has worked to improve brain capacity and function most of his life.

CGI enhances Lucy's brainwaves

CGI enhances Lucy’s brainwaves

The cinematography and computer graphics are pin point powerful in this mind-blowing Sci-Fi adventure film.  Wide shots and intense close-ups show the magnitude and intimidating force that motivates Lucy who’s able to increasingly control her situation.  Besson directs the lenses for shots of Lucy acquiring data at high speed and then computerizes it for an audience view from her developing brain. She defends herself in narrow hallways with the camera’s picking up shots of Lucy sporting pistols as she takes out her adversaries who pop out without warning. Cars explode and flip like coins during a high speed chase and Lucy even gets in the act with some special toppling of her own doing.

CHOI MIN-SIK as the merciless Mr. Jang in

CHOI MIN-SIK as the merciless Mr. Jang

Lucy has been rated R by the MPAA for strong violence, disturbing images, and sexuality. The film reminds me of the non-stop actioner Crank in which Jason Statham plays a character who has to deliver a package after being injected with a capsule that will explode if he doesn’t make it to his drop-off on time. It’s that kind of pace and urgency that’s featured in Lucy.

FINAL ANALYSIS: A fast paced thriller that should excite adrenaline seekers. (B)  

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Choi Min-sik, Amr Waked. Pilou Asbaek
Directed and written by: Luc Besson
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Crime
MPAA Rating: R for strong violence, disturbing images, and sexuality
Running Time: 1 hr 30 min
Release Date: July 25, 2014
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Release Formats:2D, IMAX

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