Lucy – Movie Review
Director: Luc Besson
Writers: Luc Besson
Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Min-sik Choi, Amr Waked, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Pilou Asbæk, Analeigh Tipton
I wanted to like this movie.
It had everything going for it: Scarlett Johansson’s immense talent, a great concept, the always likeable Morgan Freeman, and the promise of tons of action and special effects. But it fell flat.
It dove right into the action, ordinarily a good sign–but you never really develop a rapport with Lucy, and if you don’t care about her, you’re watching the film but not getting emotionally involved at all. She is the world’s unluckiest person, and she is either desperate enough or just plain unpleasant enough to do unredeemable things. Either way, Lucy is hard to like, and that makes the movie a tough sell.
The structure of the film made things difficult, too–it alternates between the current action and voiceovers explaining the science behind what’s going on. While the explanations seemed to make sense, they break up the narrative too much, making it hard to follow exactly what’s going on. Or maybe what’s going on just doesn’t make that much sense . . . ?
It seemed to have some trouble deciding whether it was a science fiction action movie or an art house parable. When I’m distracted enough while watching the movie to start actually thinking about the science–that’s a very bad sign. It’s a worse sign when I can’t make what’s going on make sense–you know, in a make believe science fiction movie world kind of sense.
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I’d rather just watch the movie.
The entire plot hinged on a cliché that I just couldn’t shake. Followed by one or two coincidences too many. The character motivations (for all the characters) were a bit muddy and confusing–even those just looking to make some cash were taking unreasonable risks.
I do applaud Scarlett Johansson’s performance, she needs to carry this movie, and she does, even after things start to get strange and the CG totally takes over and it goes off into whack-a-doodle land. She stayed with it the whole way. Morgan Freeman was almost lackluster on screen–but on reflection I’m inclined to blame the writing rather than the actor.
Despite the great concept and the awesome trailers, I just can’t recommend this one. It never quite jelled for me.
Reviewed by Elektra Hammond