By Peter Towe

Published on Tuesday, August 19, 2014


I had avoided Lucy because I thought I knew what was being delivered.  I judged a book by it’s cover and for that, I openly admit I was wrong.  Lucy is what I thought the Johnny Depp film Transcendence was going to be, a thought provoking action film about the human brains potential to expand.  Lucy was seemingly marketed as a Scarlett Johansson film where she goes around beating up the bad guys, basically your typical Luc Besson film.  While there was certainly a fair amount of action and noticeable Bessonisms, the film was much more introspective than I could have imagined.  I recently wrote a review for the Luc Besson penned 3 Days To Kill where I ripped Besson and his creative credentials and while I stand by my argument, I was too quick to judge.  Looking through his filmography, some of his movies stand out, while others are extremely forgettable.  There is no doubt however that the man works hard, and occasionally he strikes gold and gets it right.

Written and directed by Besson, Lucy tells the story of a 25-year-old woman Lucy (Scarlett Johansson), who has been exposed to a new drug that takes her brain from the  normal 10% usage to the full 100% of its potential.  She begins to experience enhanced mental and physical capabilities which include telepathy, mental time travel, and the ability to control other people.  Lucy had her stomach cut open and the drugs placed in to transport the drug CPH4 by the local Korean Mob.  After the bag opens, Lucy goes from an unwilling drug mule to a woman who transcends both space and time looking for revenge.


Having a drug that enhances mental capabilities is nothing new to Hollywood movies, but the subject was handled in an interesting and seemingly fresh way.  The film was suspenseful, even though it was somewhat predictable.  Walking out of theater after my viewing it was clear that many people were confused, but I didn’t think the plot was too complex.  Some people may get it, while others who enjoy a more cookie cutter movie with a simpler plot may not react the same way.  You can’t compare the movie to say 2011’s Limitless, it feels more like Besson’s 1994 “masterpiece” Léon: The Professional with the technological advancements seen in today’s society.  You feel for the character, and in a somewhat unbelievable plot, that feels fairly grounded.

Lucy has action, comedy, and elements that will strain the brain.  People shouldn’t make the same mistake I made and go see the film for yourself.  It has a elements that fans of all types of films will enjoy, with some claiming it’s more of a superhero film than Marvel’s latest release Guardians of the Galaxy.  People will put their own meaning into the film, which is why the film has been so successful.  For every 3 Days to Kill, Luc Besson delivers a film like Lucy, showing why Hollywood and fans are so intrigued by the body of work Besson has produced.


Lucy stars Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Amr Waked, Choi Min-sik, and is now playing in theaters nationwide.

The Good

+ Thought provoking

+ Interestingly shot action scenes

The Bad

- A lot of similarities to previous Luc Besson films

- A bit too predictable

- Not the most original idea (although it was handled well)


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