Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) is a naive young student studying abroad when she's coerced into picking up a briefcase for her "friend". Lucy reluctantly delivers the briefcase that's full of a drug called CPH4 to one Mr Jang (Min-sik Choi), a local crime boss who kills her friend and proceeds to stitch up bags of these precious drugs into her abdomen. As Lucy is being held in captivity before the drug mules are sent to Europe, one of the overzealous guards kicks Lucy in the stomach and inadvertently breaks the seal on one of the bags of the CPH4. You'd think he'd know better, right? The leaking drugs begin to affect Lucy in amazing ways, Lucy is now adapting and evolving to the drug in her system and finds she can do all sorts of things. Lucy easily escapes from her captors and heads back to Mr Jang's base of operations so she can find out where the other drug mules were going and stop them from reaching their destination.
Fearing what's happening to her body, Lucy researches Professor Norman (Morgan Freeman), a man who champions the notion that the key to our advancement is in unlocking our brains full capacity, he's only really involved as an expository character. Lucy agrees to meet with him and prove his thesis correct. After realizing that the drug mules are heading to France, Lucy contacts Pierre Del Rio (Amr Waked), a local cop and together they rush to catch the drug mules before the trafickers have a chance to extract the drugs. Meanwhile Mr Jang and his gang are in Paris to pick up their highly valuable drugs as Lucy is ingesting all three bags and is becoming something else entirely.
I have to admit that I was a bit surprised at how many people took so much offense at the mere premise of Lucy, even before they'd seen the movie they were writing it off, but the movie still turned a tidy profit so who cares. Sure, the 'we only use 10% of our brain' theory is bunk, although I'm no scientist, but regardless, it's science fiction. It's not supposed to be a documentary, this is where the 'fiction' part obviously comes into play. So I really don't care about the 'realism' behind Lucy or the lack thereof, but having said that, I just couldn't find much to like in Lucy either, and I tried. The terse running time didn't really allow for any significant development or exploration of the complex ontological and anthropological themes it presented. Instead everything was glossed over very superficially and we were instead spoon-fed some pseudo scientific babble here and there via blatant exposition.
The entire narrative was filled with far too many plot holes, the characters were thin at best and Lucy was not a sympathetic character at all, despite everything that happened to her, I still didn't like her. It felt like Lucy was trying to be a little bit of everything, yet it failed in practically every regard. Lucy didn't deliver on the action, Lucy didn't deliver on the science fiction, Lucy didn't deliver on the revenge front, Lucy wasn't suspenseful nor particularly engaging, and it didn't deliver on an emotional level whatsoever. Lucy just felt empty, shallow and disappointingly unsatisfying. It's a shame too because I felt like there was a lot of promise here.
I think Lucy would have worked better if it was presented as what it was, a science fiction movie, and dropped any and all pretenses about it being an action movie. Just focus solely on the science fiction aspect instead. I would also say that the trailer for Lucy was deliberately misleading too. Every single action scene was shown in the trailer, and that's no exaggeration. The trailer made Lucy look like it was an action flick, it wasn't. Lucy was far from it. I haven't felt so duped by a trailer since Iron Man 3. Lucy was marketed primarily as an action/sci-fi blend, but it failed on both fronts. It tried to be both, but it couldn't be either in the end. Lucy could have been a mind-blowing action movie, or an awe-inspiring science fiction movie, but instead we got neither. I expected much better from Luc Besson too, and felt like Lucy was a missed opportunity. I was so disappointed. It could have been so much more than what it was, damn it!
Written by - The Sentry - 09/11/2014