Scarlett Johansson has been very busy indeed, this being the fourth I’ve seen starring her this year. Great to see such a variation of roles, and she’s not even thirty yet! She’s fearless in her choices; which leads to some amazing films (Her), but also leads to films with interesting premises that have a lacking final product (Under the Skin). Lucy falls into the latter category.
Baffled was my overriding feeling upon leaving the cinema and a night’s sleep, usually a time where my thoughts click into place and my opinion forms fully, has done nothing to help me. I’m not sure another week of sleeping would help me either.
Perhaps this is due to the film being quite different to what I expected. Maybe it’s because I wanted to like it but found myself deflated and confused after.
Besson has crafted a visually arresting film seemingly aware that it’s story is based on an interesting but daft central conceit (I’ve had a Google and we do indeed use all of our brain, just not all at the same time). Lucy’s increasing brain power is displayed in a percentage at points throughout the film, and the way she views the world is almost Matrix-esque. It’s no slouch to look at, even though some scenes, such as Lucy meeting the original Lucy and talking to her Mother on the phone just seemed odd.
Morgan Freeman is the exposition machine who explains throughout the film his theories on how using more of our cognitive capacity than the current 10% would affect us and the world around us. Is he anything more than that now? Johansson is the living embodiment and proof of those ideas after a drug she was smuggling is released into her system. She then heads off on a journey of revenge and discovery.
Lucy has several scenes that raised a chuckle and uses your preconceptions to surprise at points. Moments showcasing Lucy’s new abilities subvert what you thought was going to happen but that’s not to say there isn’t any action. It seems as though it has taken its inspiration from a host of other places, and I’m not sure the mashing together of everything from The Matrix to 2001 is successful.
The thought of unlocking our full potential is a strong one and gives us hope that we can overcome our shortcomings as a race. If you’re at all interested in the idea and a film that bucks the trend then you should check Lucy out. I’m glad I saw it, but it has left me completely stumped. Is it brilliant and I’m only using 1% of my brain? Or is it as stupid as my original impressions led me to believe?
I’m rarely left with such a hazy opinion on a film, usually quick to figure out where it is on my personal scale. So at the moment it has to sit in the middle. Maybe in time my mind will unlock the rest of this films potential.