Directors: Luc Besson
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman and Choi Min-sik
Running Time: 89 minutes
Release Date: August 22nd
Luc Besson has walked the line between absurd and brilliant over and over in his career. He brought us The Fifth Element and the equally brilliant Leon, but last year’s The Family was a low and Taken 2 wasn’t much better. Where Lucy sits in the pile is not necessarily all that clear but then Besson in this form is hard to explain anyway.
Lucy is young and enjoying life in Taipei, she’s just having fun so why not. Well that’s not exactly the right way to think about it because her attitude finds her waking up in the company of some very nasty people who place a package of drugs in her abdomen. At gunpoint and with a belly full of synthetic drugs, Lucy has no choice other than compliance. When a chemical reaction occurs with a large amount of the drugs entering her system, her brain starts to develop at an unfathomable rate. We are then exposed to the full potential of the human brain as Lucy goes through a number of mental and physical changes. In order to ensure she doesn’t drop dead from the impact of the drugs Lucy pursues the other drug mules to Paris where all hell breaks loose as the Taiwanese drug lord follows her in order to retrieve his product.
Scarlett Johansson has had a pretty good year to date starring in Her and Under The Skin, arguably two of the best movies of the year, and she delivers the goods again in Lucy. She is more than capable of handling the action scenes as exemplified by her role in The Avengers so when she does start kicking ass she knocks it out of the park. Morgan Freeman is basically just playing himself so there’s little to add on that front and Choi Min-sik is almost pantomime in his delivery of mob boss Mr. Jang, but he makes it work.
The real strength in the overall production is the direction and editing by Besson. He is aided by some fantastic cinematography by Thierry Arbogast but it really works because Besson edits it into a frenetic series of scenes that perfectly fit the 89-minute running time. The cut fits the tempo and they don’t faff about trying to explain the science so if you’re truly along for the ride you’re not going to give a toss. One car chase scene in Paris is the best car chase we’ve had since The Bourne Identity blew our minds on the streets of Paris in 2002.
It looks great, it features some excellent camera work and if you love not giving a damn about the finer details, then Lucy is where it’s at. Jump on board and enjoy the ride.