It’s dominated the American box office for several weeks and now it’s finally arrived in the UK. We see Scarlett Johansen as the supernatural sort-of superhero Lucy in this action packed science fiction film. It could be safe to say that this film has been highly advertised and they’ve done their best to make sure that Scarlett is not their biggest selling point, there are lots of reasons to see this film apart from the lead. While they have successfully proven that this film is supposed to have more to boast about than their main protagonist, the advertising has come to be my main problem with it.
Let’s focus on what’s good first. The plot revolves around a woman whose name is, believe it or not, Lucy (didn’t see that one coming). After having an experimental drug infused with her body she gains enhanced physical and mental capabilities, however there is a problem. Her cerebral capacity is increasing and as her powers get stronger, she and everyone else can only guess what happens when she reaches 100%. There is quite an element of suspense with this, it manages to keep the thrills and tension up as much as it can, which you would expect it to do with this setup.
The pacing is also done quite well, the engineered plot is good for most of the film. It’s also slightly reminiscent of Kill Bill. The violence is not nearly as high and the action is not nearly as adrenaline pumping and yet eccentric at the same time. But it has a similar concept, a strong female character goes on trip of revenge to track down who did this to her. Scarlett Johansen does a very good job in getting the main emotions across, she goes on a nice development from reluctant to confident and obsessed. Morgan Freeman, you know what to expect from him, and they’re the only performances that stand out, the rest are sadly a bit too forgettable.
In one sense as well Lucy is a very unique story, it puts a nice spin on the genre of sci-fi, superhero and action all at the same time. You could be forgiven for calling this film more of a guilty pleasure. After all what are the main ingredients, beautiful woman, lots of action. The directing is quite admirable as well, the camera is constantly moving in a fast and quick pace to match the high octane nature of the plot.
But now we get to the bad stuff. My main issue with the film is that it was advertised as a thriller, an intelligent one at that. But as I said before it simply isn’t, the concept is quite simply Kill Bill, but the bride has superpowers in this one. Lots of action all tied together with a silly plot would be fine on its own. But I have a feeling that it is not what you went to see either. The start is like a thriller, trust me the way that Lucy gains her powers is shockingly violent, not by standards of really violent film like, again, Kill Bill. But it does excel the levels that you were expecting for this film, with the scenario and the event itself, the characters behind it. It lives up to the expectations of a thriller, but from there it goes down a bit.
As well as this, the film spirals out of control too much as well. The plot continues to move forward at a good pace but this film ends up trying to be too any things at once. It starts as a thriller, becomes an average action film, then turns more to science fiction, there’s even an element of time travel. After that there’s a revenge story, and culminating with an explorative look at what it means to be human, and then the human perception and then a look at information and the future and ambiguity. It all feels like it’s too much. In another kind of film this would be alright and a good feature, but in this kind of film it feels unnecessary and overly-complicated yet too simple at the same time.
But at the end of the day, this is certainly unlike anything else you’ll see this summer. It does have a worse audience rating than critical rating but I think there’s a reason for that. Like I said before people thought this was a full on thriller, it isn’t. The trick on how to enjoy this film is to use a different mind-set. If you go in expecting a usual action flick with a feisty super-powered heroine then Lucy will not disappoint.