Film Review – Lucy

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Directed by Luc Besson

The celebrated French director Luc Besson is back with one of his kookiest efforts. And given his previous body of work, that’s saying something..

His writing credits are patchy, with real disappointments including From Paris With Love, 3 Days to Kill and too many Transporters for my liking.

That said, he has written and directed some excellent pieces of work including Leon: The Professional, La Femme Nikita and The Fifth Element as well as writing Taken (1,2 & 3).

Lucy is a simple enough premise. Using the name of a female hominid who lived over three million years ago, Besson crafts a tale about a modern day Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) who unwillingly does a favour for a dodgy lover and finds herself forced to become a drug mule and sure enough things go horribly wrong.

After undergoing abdominal surgery Lucy is now carrying a kilo of the drug CPH4, a fictional name for a real substance that exists as a molecule which pregnant women make after six weeks of pregnancy in very tiny quantities. It’s effect on the unborn baby is likened to that of an atomic bomb, such is it’s potency.

When Lucy experiences the effects of the drug, her abilities become beyond that of a superhero’s powers as she surpasses the typical percentage of human brain function.

It’s a convoluted film that shines brightly in many places, and wanders aimlessly in others.

Stunning visual effects and novel action sequences make much of the film enjoyable, but it repeatedly stumbles in a directionless manner that becomes frustrating as you will the story to a more conventional conclusion than what’s on offer.

And I suspect it’s this ambiguity that’s at the heart of Besson’s mission here. To provoke us into exploring what is possible in our minds and with each other.

Definitely worth a look, and most likely a second viewing later.

3 & 1/2 Stars.

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