Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Lucy (2014)

What have we here, a Luc Besson movie about an invincible female who just happens to be relatively sexy and carries guns, stop me if you've heard this before. I guess when the movie is written and directed by Besson whilst produced by his wife we gotta accept the fact that originality isn't gonna be on board. But wait! this isn't a simple rehash of virtually half of his previous creations...although it kinda looks it from the stop thinking that.

Johansson is tricked into delivering a suitcase full of drugs to a Korean crime syndicate on the notion that she will collect some money and go. Unfortunately for her she is soon forced into a drug mule operation with a pouch full of a synthetic drug sewn into her abdomen. This new drug is very valuable, untested and will supposedly unlock the potential to use the full capacity of ones brain. Whilst held in captivity by the nasty Korean criminals she is beaten and the pouch inside her breaks open flooding her body with the new drug. As the drug kicks in Lucy slowly becomes stronger mentally and physically, the race is then on to reach a professor (Morgan Freeman) who might be able to save her life.

Alas the entire concept for this part sci-fi adventure is false, even though I'll admit I thought it was true that we humans only used a small portion of the brain generally. With a bit of research it turns out we all use every part of the brain on a daily basis. Admittedly the brain isn't firing on all cylinders constantly and not all at the same time, but apparently in general over the course of one day we do in fact use around 100% of our brains. So that does tend to dip a fly in the ointment here somewhat, the whole concept that you could be some kind of super human X-man/woman when your brain is completely unlocked is a fun romantic idea...but no.

That is basically what happens in this movie, Scarlett Johansson pretty much becomes a member of the X-Men. Temporarily you could say she becomes a mutant with super powers, a new subspecies. As this new drug pumps through her body she gains powers of telepathy, telekinesis, the ability to switch off pain as well as other emotions and she can somehow mentally go back in time. No idea how using 100% of brain would allow these powers truth be told. I understand the fantastical idea here but it still leaves you pondering why you'd be able to perform these things. How the flip would you be able to travel back in time through the power of your mind?! and how the hell could you interact with living physical people and creatures??!!

Johansson's character can knock people out with the wave of her hand, she can tap into any electronics both physically and mentally, she feels no pain, she can control people and animals with her mind, all her senses...her all round perception is off the charts etc...she's a super Jedi. Yet despite all that she does at times still feel the need to have hand to hand fights and gun battles with blokes, even though she can make them unconscious with her mind. Well everyone needs to keep fit I guess.

The movie is suppose to be a science fiction of sorts, which it is, but it never really feels like you're watching a sci-fi. There are elements stuffed in here which Besson tries to manipulate you with into thinking its an intelligent sci-fi. There are sequences which clearly go down the '2001' route which do look impressive effects wise but in no way had me thinking this was on the same level as said film. For the most part its quite simply a chase movie with errmm...X-Men powers on display, I really don't wanna keep saying that but it is.

There are also various silly plot points that just don't add up, Lucy is able to just walk into a hospital and then an operating theatre with a gun. She shoots a patient and forces the doctors to operate on her...and no one alerts the police or comes to check on the commotion?! There never seems to be any security anywhere in this movie, rarely any police. Also I honesty don't get why the Korean bad guys are so obsessed with this drug. I understand its new and they wanna sell it but can't they just make more? surely they know how and if you're gonna sell it to Europe then what's four small bags going a miss? Was it really worth flying around the world to try and get back? Lastly the finale is such a combined rip-off from a few cult sci-fi movies its not even funny. Lucy becomes one with the matrix of life...or universe as it were, as we get her final cold blunt statement.

There really isn't anything new here...once again. The idea about unlocking the brains full potential is kinda cool but it only results in things we've seen a shittillion times before in various comicbook movies (whilst pinching concepts from others...'Limitless' much!). Johansson is good as the leading protagonist but kinda acts like a Terminator, and because she can incapacitate people with her mind that kinda limits the possibility of solid action. So what you're left with is an emotionless female Terminator that merely looks at people or waves her hand to stop them. Obviously there is some proper action but that doesn't even make any sense because of her powers. So really this movie kinda checkmates itself, its devoid of any real thrills, danger or suspense.