Lucy. When a movie’s title is named after its titular character, I expect one of two things: either, a) the movie is an in-depth film about that character, and as viewers, we learn all about that character; or b) no one had any better ideas for what to name the movie, so they took the easy route and named it after the main character.
In the case of Lucy, I would go with option b. The movie never let me know what kind of person Lucy was or is. We find out only what becomes of her within the first fifteen minutes. Lucy’s personality and actions were all over the place, which fit in well enough with the plot. I wasn’t expecting a Jerry MaGuire or a Forrest Gump, both films rightly named after its main character; I found Lucy to remind me more of Hanna, but with less explanation or background.
The only information we know about Lucy prior to her predicament is that she dated someone who seemed to be a weird guy who got involved with the wrong guys, and he was lame enough to force his girlfriend of one week into a drug deal that he knew would kill him (and it did, even with Lucy’s involvement). Perhaps this is information enough to let us know that Lucy isn’t the brightest girl.
Why is Lucy important? Well, she’s not. Ultimately, she’s a drug mule that unintentionally had the drug CPH4 leaked into her system when one of her captors kicked her in the stomach. The screenplay was all over the place. We get some great scenes of Professor Norman (Morgan Freeman) teaching his class about his theories and research on the human brain; however, Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) spirals out of control (or maybe into control) as she gains more control of her brain capacity. Of course this information is relevant, and it touches only the surface of what has actually become of Lucy.
I’m not sure whether Lucy is a revenge movie or a psychological thriller, or maybe just a movie named Lucy for the heck of it. The plot is simple and unravels quickly: twenty-five-year-old Lucy is kidnapped by a Japanese drug lord who uses Lucy and three other unlucky souls as mules to transfer the drug CPH4 into four different countries. Lucy’s situation differs from the other three mules in that the bagged drug has actually leaked into her system when she struggles against one of her captors, leading him to abuse and kick her, loosening the bag and leaking the powerful drug into her system. Suddenly, Lucy not only has her brain capacity freed, but she also quickly discovers that her brain capacity is extending at a fast rate, unlocking abilities no human being has ever been capable of. These abilities include controlling people with her mind, teleporting, and ultimately outsmarting and killing anyone in her way. Her captors and enemies are pawns, dying off one by one as Lucy seeks out Professor Norman to find a solution when she realizes the Professor’s theories on the human brain are true, and her rapidly growing brain capacity will kill her.
I didn’t find Lucy‘s plot to be significant or interesting enough to actually indulge in the full runtime of the film. I actually found myself bored most of the movie, wondering how the plot unraveled into an ending where Lucy’s brain capacity has reached 100%. This obviously means that with the help of Professor Norman and his colleagues, Lucy will die, and must choose to pass on her newfound information. To accomplish this, when she reaches 100%, she will dissolve into a black-ish liquid, seep into a computer, and turn into a flash drive full of information to pass on to the professor.
Scarlett Johansson seems to make more than a capable action star, having added her third Black Widow performance in Captain America 2 to her resume of great roles, but for me, she didn’t really work as an interesting enough character in Lucy, and I would probably blame more of it on the screenplay than Johansson’s efforts. Amr Waked plays a likeable cop who helps Lucy get to where she needs to be, but as for why Lucy selects his character to help her is never explained. Waked filled the role of a character that needed to serve the plot, much like the drug lord Mr. Jang (Min-Sik Choi), who played what I would consider an unmemorable role, bowing to the film’s premise of playing the stereotypical bad guy who dies in the end.
Most people compare Lucy to Limitless, which might be a better title for a movie with an uninteresting lead character but a thought-provoking plot. I thought Limitless was a better, more interesting movie. Neither movie is perfect, and I think like the plot, writer-director Luc Besson was scraping the surface when penning a screenplay about accessing a high percentage of one’s brain. There’s more to tap into. Abandoning the story to end with a pile of drugged-up girl turned black goo turned computer turned EVERYWHERE, with Morgan Freeman standing around, blindly understanding what no one else seems to be getting, is a poor ending for an interesting idea.
I didn’t care for Lucy, and I give it
What are your thoughts on Lucy? Am I missing what made Lucy a 61% film on Rotten Tomatoes? Please join the discussion below, because I’d love to know your thoughts!