Luc Besson is a french screenwriter, who wrote classic action films like The Transporter and Taken. He’s only directed a handful of mainstream movies to hit America, most notably The Fifth Element. Well, here he is writing and directing Lucy. Can he team with Scarlett Johansson to create a fun suspense film or does he bite off more than he can chew?
The gist is that Lucy (Johansson) gets wrangled into a drug trafficking ring run through Taiwan and gets a mysterious new drug stuffed inside her intestines to travel across the border. Of course, it pops and things get crazy when the drug allows her to start accessing more and more of her brain.
Very little. It looks good, though sometimes has a tendency to look like a screensaver when trying to show off the brain chemistry of our heroine. The action is fun, but most of it was seen in the trailers.
What doesn’t work?
Let’s start at the written page. Besson went too far here. It reminded me of Transcendence, because both tried to tackle this suspenseful high-tech thriller story and it became a mess. Lucy is mostly confusing and there are plot holes big enough for a bus to drive through. If this drug allows people to access more of their brain, then wouldn’t every drug addict become a god as well?
Johansson started out fine but once she gains access to the rest of her brain, she turns into a monotone robot. She had more personality in Her, as an actual robot. It’s also hard to root for Lucy when she can literally make people fall over dead. The villains can’t do anything to her, so the sense of suspense is gone.
Towards the end of the film, it just gets confusing. This is a fun topic to discuss with your friends but Besson’s film became a convoluted and messy story. The action is minimal, with the scenes in the trailer being the only ones that are really that gripping. Plot holes are huge, talent is underutilized, and it generally just leaves you wondering what exactly Besson was trying to convey.
This is a mess. It was a fun idea on the page maybe but the movie didn’t translate well to the screen. It will disappoint you if you’re looking for an action movie but it will also disappoint you if you’re looking for a cerebral thriller.