The latest movie written and directed by Luc Besson is a polished and accomplished action film with a number of surprisingly dynamic and inspiring visuals, although it does almost inevitably stumble on occasion with its over the top storyline. Scarlett Johansson plays the titular Lucy, initially a normal young woman living in Taipei until she’s inadvertently kidnapped one day and forced to smuggle a new synthetic party drug into Europe for the local mafia, only an enormous dose of it accidentally spills into her bloodstream allowing her brain to access more and more of its potential – facilitating her escape, revenge and subsequent attempts to thwart their plans for the other mules, all converging in a number of shootouts in Paris.
Her powers are extreme (they manifest much like they do for Bradley Cooper in ‘Limitless’ (11), but quickly escalate into being able to control and contort matter and thought), and initially this does jar a lot with the narrative, but Besson keeps things flowing apace and with enough skill and artistry that it soon becomes easy to look past its exponential structure. More than this, however, lots of shots of nature interspersed with the drama not entirely unlike a Terrence Malick film, and a fascinating if very tenuous grounding in science, running the gamut from a dolphin’s advanced sonar ability to the fact this ‘CPH4’ drug has had its name changed but is a chemical naturally produced by pregnant mothers, albeit in much reduced quantities – all ask questions about our own potential and its place within the fabric of nature generally, fascinating when we consider just how much energy can be released by but a few atoms undergoing nuclear reactions, and although its central premise that we only use ten percent of our brains has been largely debunked as urban legend, many of the other scientific titbits thrown in seem much more plausible and it is certainly very true to say science as yet does not truly understand all the workings of the human mind. It’s cut to a nice length and is directed in a suitably cinematic way resulting in an enjoyable and interesting sci-fi action flick, all with solid acting from the likes of Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Amr Waked and Choi Min-sik (the protagonist in ‘Oldboy’ 03).