Friday, July 25, 2014

Lucy Movie Review

Morgan Freeman & Scarlett Johansson (r) star in Lucy

Having vs. Being

The Matrix meets Limitless (with a dash of Transcendence) in the shapely form of Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson's Lucy, a new kind of science fiction... one that's short on special effects, and long on absurdity. It's also (drumroll, please) fun to watch; and for the most part, wildly entertaining. It may not be a thought provoker (most of this could never really happen) but it's one good finish away from being an ultimate summer distraction.

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: From La Femme Nikita and The Professional to The Fifth Element, writer/director Luc Besson has created some of the toughest, most memorable female action heroes in cinematic history. Now, Besson directs Scarlett Johansson in Lucy, an action-thriller that tracks a woman accidentally caught in a dark deal who turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.

What’s Best: Once Johansson literally "busts a gut," her acting becomes flat and robotic (a la Under the Skin.) Of course, that's not her fault... It's the character she's portraying. Robotic or not, ScarJo is an absolute joy to behold (and not only because she's sexy as all get-out.) Besson's Lucy sets a quick pace, and is surprisingly easy to understand (except for the last 10 minutes or so.) It's a summer popcorn flick, and little else; but that's more than enough to entertain me.

The first half is much better than the second, and Lucy (the character) would be a lot more interesting, capped at 40-50% brain power. Morgan Freeman narrates wonderfully (even though you see him doing it, this time) and Choi Min-sik (Oldboy, I Saw the Devil) plays the sh*t out of bad guy Kang. He (Kang) reminds me so much of Gary Oldman's Norman Stansfield (one of my all-time favorite movie bad guys) in The Professional: All Kang needs to match him, is more screen time (and a few English lessons.)

What’s Not: I won't harp on the fact that none of this makes any sense; but the aforementioned final 10 minutes are nothing short of disastrous. Lucy teleports through time and space (in a desk chair, no less) with unintentionally laughable results. Poor quality CGI (including a dinosaur, and the "original" Lucy) almost sinks what had been (up to that point) a very entertaining movie.

Best Line: Lucy begins to remember all sorts of details, even managing to confound her own mother with, 'I remember the taste of your milk in my mouth.' TMI Lucy, way too much information.

Overall: Besson crams a lot of good into 89-minutes, including multiple car chases and violent shootouts: Trust me, you won't be bored. Credit Besson's fast pace, Johansson's gorgeous curves and a story, most of us wish we could believe. Be prepared for lots of violence (some most of which, is unnecessary) and plenty of outright silliness. In between, there's even a few laughs. I wish more summer movies took the same approach.