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Lucy Review (1 Viewer)

Yavin

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Right off the bat, I have to say: Lucy is a strange film. But that's actually a good thing. The trailers and advertising make it look like your typical Luc Besson action pic, and while it does hew to some of his usual clichés, it's got a lot more ambition under the hood.

The story's quite straightforward: Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) is forced to be a drug mule for a Korean crime boss named Jang (Choi Min-sik). He surgically implants a pouch full of a new designer drug into her abdomen. The pouch ruptures and massive doses of the drug is released into her system, unlocking the full potential of her brain. But it's what Besson does with the film after that point in the story that'll surprise audiences...

Here's an excerpt from my full review:
Had Besson made Lucy in the mid-to-late 90's, then surely Milla Jovovich, Besson's secret weapon for The Fifth Element, would have been tapped to fill the lead role. As it stands, Johansson is a worthy successor to Jovovich, and Lucy is a worthy modern update to Jovovich's Leeloo character from that film: a no-nonsense, super-powered femme fatale who doesn't need someone like Bruce Willis to protect her, because she's perfectly capable of handling her enemies on her own. And handle them she does: at first, Lucy subdues her aggressors with physical force and lightning-fast reflexes, but as she unlocks a greater and greater percentage of her gray matter, she becomes adept at neutralizing her opponents with a mere glance or a wave of the hand, all without so much as breaking a sweat.
Of course, this all but nullifies the hopes of anyone expecting to see Johansson slip into full-on Black Widow mode to vanquish the bad guys. Lucy has been billed as a sci-fi/action extravaganza, but while there are spurts of madcap action (including a giddy Transporter-esque vehicular sequence and a frenetic gun battle which culminates in a gangster using — what else — a rocket launcher to obliterate a locked door), Besson is primarily concerned with unlocking the potential of the story's far-out sci-fi premise, full of musings on metaphysics and human existence. In other words, the movie's DNA is more The Fifth Element than it is La Femme Nikita.

Despite the audaciousness of Besson's grand design, it all hinges on Johansson's performance as the intellectually-enhanced title character. Much like her portrayal of the slinky alien visitor in Under the Skin, the actress invokes an otherwordly quality for the role, coming across as one part alien, one part robot, as underscored by her deadpan delivery and Lucy's zen-like calmness in the face of adversity. But to Johansson's credit, she always keeps Lucy's humanity floating just beneath the surface, and it shines through on occasion, as in a tender scene where Lucy phones her mother as if to speak with her for the very last time. Likewise, when Del Rio asks her why she needs him at all, since she's more than able to fend for herself, Lucy replies with poetic soulfulness, "As a reminder."

And that's essentially what Lucy is: a reminder of Besson's potential as a filmmaker. After a string of lackluster projects, many moviegoers might already be content with writing him off as having scraped the bottom of his creative barrel, but this movie proves otherwise. It's imaginative and bold, and even though its final act may catch viewers off-guard with its sheer amount of metaphysical insanity, it's a testament to Besson's creative prowess that he's even able to pull it off at all.
3.5 out of 5. Although you wouldn't know it by looking at it, Lucy is one of the year's most polarizing films, sure to leave some moviegoers scratching their heads and others grinning from ear to ear. It's a far cry from your prototypical action movie, nor is it your standard sci-fi fare. It is, however, enthralling through and through. And it's proof that Luc Besson still knows how to captivate an audience.
 

Gipsy

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this movie looks very interesting,my mother said she wanted to see it.
 

Patrick Sun

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Meh. Lazy. No real interesting story to speak of. Character development was sparse.

2 stars, or a grade of C.
 

Robert Crawford

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Patrick Sun said:
Meh. Lazy. No real interesting story to speak of. Character development was sparse.

2 stars, or a grade of C.
What other character development you need in this type of film? You have Lucy, a college student that likes to party and really doesn't have much in motivation in life except having a good time. After what happens to her, it alters her character into something else and I thought she did a good job explaining her new character development with her lines of dialogue after her alteration.
 

schan1269

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Wow, complaining about "character development being sparce"...Don't waste your time on the greatness of Under the Skin either then.
 

Edwin-S

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I might go and see this; although, Luc Besson has been pretty hit and miss with the stuff he has been involved in over the last few years. Some of his more recent stuff makes it hard to believe that it is the same guy who made things like "The Big Blue", "The Professional" and the flawed, but wacky, "Fifth Element".
 

Wayne_j

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Scarlett Johansson sure has been the go to actress for unusual Sci-fi movies this year. Her, Under the Skin, and now Lucy.
 

classicmovieguy

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Sheeesh.... Every time I see the title of this thread I think it's all about this other dame...

lucille-ball-glasses-scarf1.jpg
 

Mark Booth

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With a measly 50% audience rating at Rotten Tomatoes, I had reservations about going to see 'Lucy'. But I'm pleased to say that I enjoyed it quite a bit. It had less action than I had hoped and portions of the plot were pretty far-fetched. But I surrendered to the "Summer Popcorn Flick" state of mind, suspended disbelief, and had a good time.

'Lucy' probably isn't everyone's cup of tea. But if you allow yourself to enjoy it for what it is (instead of trying to analyze why parts of the plot aren't possible), I think you'll have a good time. How can you go wrong when the good guy, err, gal, kicks ass on the bad guys?

The Booth Bijou gives 'Lucy' 3.75 stars out of 5. It's not quite good enough to rate a 4, but doesn't deserve to be relegated to a 3 or even a 3.5 either.

Mark
 

Vic Pardo

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Robert Crawford said:
What other character development you need in this type of film? You have Lucy, a college student that likes to party and really doesn't have much in motivation in life except having a good time. After what happens to her, it alters her character into something else and I thought she did a good job explaining her new character development with her lines of dialogue after her alteration.
I agree with Robert. Everything that happens to Lucy in the film is played out on her face. Just watch her face and you learn everything you need to learn about what's happening to her and what she's suffering. How can you not feel for her after the terror she experiences in those opening scenes when she's first thrust into this nightmarish situation? Lucy pleads for her life and cries in fear throughout the pre-drug scenes. Then once the drug takes hold, she undergoes a remarkable, but no less fear-inducing transformation. And you can see it all in her face.

Luc Besson wisely gives us lots of closeups of Scarlett and she totally carries this movie and takes the audience (well, me at least), with her every step of the way. I was completely enthralled throughout. I'd been wanting to see ScarJo in a standalone action movie ever since seeing her as Black Widow in THE AVENGERS. This certainly delivered the goods. And I was completely swept up in the whole cosmic finale. Did I necessarily understand it? No, but then maybe humans aren't meant to understand the cosmos. There are things that will remain ever mysterious to the ordinary human mind. If they gave us an ending I could understand I would have been disappointed at the failure of the filmmakers' imagination. It would be as if Stanley Kubrick gave in to the studio and dumbed down the finale of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY so the yahoos could "get" it.
 

Malcolm R

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This kind of lost me right from the first scene. A guy Lucy's known only for a week handcuffs a briefcase to her wrist, and she actually does what he wants? She should have turned around and walked away to the nearest hardware store or locksmith to get the damn thing off her arm. The last thing I would expect her to do was exactly what he wanted.

Actually, even before that, the second time he grabbed her arm when she tried to walk away, she should have kneed him right in the crotch.

I think it would have been a better opening if she was just abducted randomly off the street, and woke up after the surgery, discovering she was being forced into service as a drug mule. The whole opening scene with the cajoling boyfriend was just pointless and unnecessary.
 

Patrick Sun

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I'm not going to apologize for not liking this film. Cut out that opening silly hand-cuff sequence, and it's barely a 60-minute "film". Cut out the silly car chase scene, it's maybe a 50-minute "movie" at that point. There is no "there" there. It's a lame movie. It's polarizing, love-it-or-hate-it movie, I'm in the latter group. I'm glad others got more enjoyment out of the film than I did. It happens. But if someone asks me if I'd recommend it, I'd say "No, not really."

I find the films I enjoy more, are ones with enough character development to give a damn about what's happening to the main characters, be they protagonist or antagonist, and if the drama is worth the story being told. This film, meh.

Were they competing against "Transcendance" in the production stage? They missed the release date race, but their marketing was skillful enough to pull in huge numbers for its opening weekend.

And yeah, I thought "Under the Skin" was kind of groan-worthy, too, but still more interesting in a odd way over "Lucy". But truth be told, how many would have still sought it out without the fanfare paid to the titular payoff of Johansson's unclothed scenes?
 

Robert Crawford

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Patrick Sun said:
I'm not going to apologize for not liking this film. Cut out that opening silly hand-cuff sequence, and it's barely a 60-minute "film". Cut out the silly car chase scene, it's maybe a 50-minute "movie" at that point. There is no "there" there. It's a lame movie. It's polarizing, love-it-or-hate-it movie, I'm in the latter group. I'm glad others got more enjoyment out of the film than I did. It happens. But if someone asks me if I'd recommend it, I'd say "No, not really."

I find the films I enjoy more, are ones with enough character development to give a damn about what's happening to the main characters, be they protagonist or antagonist, and if the drama is worth the story being told. This film, meh.

Were they competing against "Transcendance" in the production stage? They missed the release date race, but their marketing was skillful enough to pull in huge numbers for its opening weekend.

And yeah, I thought "Under the Skin" was kind of groan-worthy, too, but still more interesting in a odd way over "Lucy". But truth be told, how many would have still sought it out without the fanfare paid to the titular payoff of Johansson's unclothed scenes?
Nobody is asking you to as there are several films you like that I don't care for. It's called film appreciation.
 

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