Lucy – Review ★★


The man who gave us The Fifth Element, La Femme Nikita and Léon decided to keep on giving and do this sci-fi film, Lucy, which has been in theatres for a while now, in case you hadn’t noticed.

Scarlett Johansson is Lucy, a party girl in Tawain that gets stuck in a bad drug deal by her casual (and soon late) boyfriend. She is forced to become a drug mule for this amazing blue drug that encapsulates the essence of life, but because she is too sexy and the gangsters try to have her way with her, the drug bag starts leaking into her blood stream and she becomes, like, super cool and full of super powers that she uses to kick ass in the coolest way possible, while becoming the love child of Chigurh and Rust Cohle.

This explained entirely because normal people only use 10% of their brain (and it must be true because we have Morgan freaking Freeman telling us this in a scientific lecture), but Scarlett-on-drugs goes all the way to 100% during the film. She uses her amazing super powers to move stuff, hack the internet, and go all Keanu Reaves on the bad guys. She also changes her hair colour and style with the power of her thoughts (at last, something for the female audience to desire!). She captures the remains of the drug, has it all like a greedy psychopath and then something happens to her that may or may not strangely resemble the ending of The Fifth Element.


Of course, some people are going to like this film. There are sci-fi people, Luc Besson fans, and people that enjoy “theories of everything” stuff. I liked the film because I have so many bad things to say about it, suffice to say this review is almost going to write itself! It’s a film critic’s wet dream. So many angles I can go about it. As a film, as a sci-fi premise, as a Luc Besson failed attempt to be cool again…

Let’s get the science out of the way, as it’s the least important thing for the sci-fi genre. No, humans do use their brains to full capacity. No, consuming unknown drugs and letting them flow freely into one’s blood stream will not make you a superhero (or look like Scarlett Johansson). No, people with high IQ’s are not killing psycho robots with no emotion whatsoever. But even if basing the film in a scientific fallacy, the gods be damned, Besson, why don’t you embrace it fully! Don’t just think “hey, this is a cool idea”, and then decorate it with action scene cliches (though, it must be said, it was a very cool car chase). There’s already a provider of pseudo-science films, and that’s Rolland Emmerich. He rocks his crazy theories like no one. It is rude to try to steal his throne, and sad to fail at it.


Now, for the film. Imagine The Tree of Life dumbed down, with action sequences and Johansson’s bottom occasionally filling the screen. Doesn’t that sound lovely? How could Besson ruin such a thing, you may ask? Well, for a start, with some ridiculous dialogue. Then, very silly visual metaphors, overstating what is obvious to everyone (to the point that I was wondering if Dora the Explorer would appear at any point in the screen to reinforce the story so far), that would look pretentious as muck in a student film and are absolutely unforgivable from the director of Nikita. And the ending… oh the ending. Just wait and see.

Why, Scarlett, why is there a quota of amazing films you already filled this year and hey, in what other film could you meet the Australopithecus Lucy while sitting in an office chair? Et tu, Morgan Freeman- are you trying to get rid of your image of A Cool Guy? And Min-Sik… oh, the waste of talent into the portrait of yet another cardboard baddie.

Kudos to Besson for still being a daring filmmaker, though, even when falling flat on his face. He does make the effort to give us original stories, great car chases, and barely dressed strong and bad-ass female characters. But that’s it. Nothing new or above that in Lucy. So we would like to beg him to stop doing blue drugs with Malick and come back to deliver us a proper film, please. It’s been a while.

Lucy is in cinemas now.

Sara is originally from Coimbra, Portugal, where she studied Film Studies before moving to London to enrol in film school. Having made her first short film about her neighbour's chickens when she was 9 (a dystopian sci-fi, still her favourite genre), she is now a London-based film director and editor, and also a writer for the Portuguese Take Magazine. She is a huge fan of Lars Von Trier, Krysztof Kiéslowski, and David Lean.