On vacation in Taiwan, Lucy gets forced to deliver a briefcase into an office building for her boyfriend. He is very insistent that she help him and even handcuffs her to the briefcase to complete the delivery. Once inside, everything goes horribly wrong and she is forcefully escorted to meet with Mr. Jang. Once they open the case, they discover 4 bags of blue powder inside. Scared by all of the death and violence around her, she briefly declines a job Mr. Jang offers and is immediately struck unconscious. She wakes up to find that a bag of the blue powder has been surgically implanted in her abdomen and she is expected to deliver it to London. While still under capture, she is repeatedly kicked in the stomach, causing the bag to leak and the blue powder to absorb into her system. Rather than dying by overdose, her senses are extremely heightened and she continues to increase her cerebral capacity reaching closer and closer to 100%.
Starring: Scarlett Johansson (Lucy), Morgan Freeman (Professor Norman), Min-sik Choi (Mr. Jang), Amr Waked (Pierre Del Rio), Julian Rhind-Tutt (The Limey), Pilou Asbaek (Richard), Analeigh Tipton (Caroline), Nicolas Phongpheth (Jii)
Johansson seems to be attracted to these roles that limit her need to display range of emotion, as seen with Black Widow in the Marvel Universe and Under the Skin. She definitely highlighted the sense of fear of the unknown at the beginning and seemingly lost nearly all emotion as instantly as the drug took effect. Freeman got his chance to narrate/lecture again, and he was perfect for the role supporting Johansson’s character’s absorption of the drug. Choi certainly had the intensity and drive to make his character a menace.
Having directed a number of excellent action and sci-fi movies, Luc Besson’s flick explored the possibility of humanity breaking through the ceiling of our cerebral capacity and what that ability would mean. The synthetic drug served as an evolutionary accelerator and quickly boosted Lucy’s abilities of perception, memory, processing, and control. As the drug continued to affect her system, she gained the ability to manipulate her hair color, see electromagnetic signals, and learn new languages almost instantaneously. She also became immediately aware of her body’s inability to manage the rapidly evolving cells, so she went on a mission to load her system with the other 3 powder packets and reach 100% cerebral capacity. In order to make it to 100%, she required an anchor to her humanity (Pierre Del Rio) and Professor Norman’s team of scientists to monitor her progression.
The film had a fun combination of sic-fi elements, but there were several key issues with the storyline. While Lucy may have been interacting and reacting at a higher ability than the people around her, she caused a lot of destruction and seemed to appear in random places without attracting attention (though it could be argued that she was astral-projecting and not necessarily visible to everyone). The race through Paris was a bit problematic though. Cars were flying everywhere and she caused significant property damage and probable deaths. Though there were some news reports following the initial chaos in Taiwan, there was no follow up to the events in Paris. In addition, there was no follow up for the Limey, who seemed to be important before Lucy’s drug took effect but disappeared for the rest of the film.
Lucy was a bit meta in the way that it explored the brain’s capacity for knowledge and control, which was the most intriguing element of the story. While the tone of the film was a little less engaging with Lucy’s separation from humanity, it was still an enjoyable experience.
Dan’s Rating: 3.0/5