I had heard amazing things about Scarlett Johansson’s new movie Lucy, so of course I had to go see it for myself. I’m not a huge fan of Scar Jo. It’s not that I dislike her or anything – I just find her a bit blah. However, as soon as I heard the legendary Morgan Freeman was a part of it, my movie heart filled with hope and off I trotted to the local cinema.
Unfortunately that hope was quickly replaced with bitter disappointment and guilt (as I had convinced my friend to tag along). Lucy, played by Johansson, is a thrill-seeking college student who finds herself part of a drug and human trafficking ring while studying in Taiwan. Funnily enough, she and her housemate (who we meet briefly) only speak English and struggle to find English speakers in this Chinese-speaking state. This is just the first of many outlandish claims throughout the film but I digress. Her brain is permanently altered by a laboratory drug ingested when the bag bursts after it was placed in her stomach by the gangsters.
This drug allows Lucy to use more than 10% of her brain (it is claimed that humans only use 10% of their brain even though this has been dismissed as a myth) and the more access she has to her own noggin, the more powerful she becomes. However, she only has 48 hours to live and must find the one neuroscientist and professor (played by Morgan Freeman) who can capture her growing knowledge to be passed down to future generations. However, the drug cartel that she unwittingly became involved with try to stop her at every turn.
So basically, as the movie progresses Lucy evolves beyond human logic and things start to get weird. She can see and hear things that a normal human would not be able to, she can control how she looks and change her appearance at will, she can read people’s minds and she can control objects, magnetic fields and other people.
Amr Waked plays a French police officer and in my opinion, his role is superfluous, he obviously thinks so too as he offers to leave Lucy’s side as he cannot be of any help. There is then one awkward kiss between them, even though at this point Lucy seems to be more like a machine than a woman and Lucy drags him along for the very dangerous last stand.
I know this is being billed as science fiction and I may be reading too much into the obvious factual errors but who goes to Taiwan to study without being able to speak a word of Chinese? And as a French film, it may get away with a bit more creative licence than maybe an American or English production but this didn’t wow me.
The ending was not only forgettable but it made no sense. The only thing I did like about this film was the philosophical way in which questions about human existence were posed to the audience. It got you thinking about the meaning of life and the reasons why we are here but by the time Johansson’s 48 hours were up, I was ready for the lights to come on.
Photos c/o ballanaija.com, theyoungfolks.com