This past weekend, I cajoled an unsuspecting friend of mine to go see Lucy starring Scarlett Johansson and written and directed by Luc Besson, but I'm afraid I felt that I had to apologize immediately when the credits started to roll. This movie was truly dismal, and I wouldn't recommend paying full ticket price (or even any ticket price, really) to see it.
Before I start to rip it apart, let's focus on the good. Because there really was some good tucked away in this abysmal excuse for a film.
- High Production Value - The graphics, cinematography, and just general production quality was top notch. A couple of times, I nearly forgot that I was watching absolute drivel because I was stunned by the beautiful shots and cool CGI.
- Valiant Acting Effort (As Best As They Could, Anyway) -This movie is an excellent example of how a script can completely ruin a movie even when you give it to quality actors like Morgan Freeman and Scarlett Johansson. Actors are expected to give even the shittiest of scripts life and legitimacy, yet there are some that simply cannot be saved. Heck, even Meryl Streep couldn't have done anything with this one.
- It Actually Started With Promise -The first 20 minutes were riveting as we learned about the character; the idea of the mysterious new blue drug, CPH4; and various other plot devices (again, the cinematography is beautiful). But the initial 20 minutes were the only bright spot.
- Strong Female Lead - We all know how woefully lacking Hollywood is in the area of strong female leads that aren't over-sexualized bad-asses, and that's the only thing that Lucy does right (kind of... see "THE BAD" for the flipside). The titular character is smart, strong, and sexy all at the same time without being a whore who goes weak in the knees every time a man vies for dominance.
- Korean!!! - Now, this one is a bit specific to my nerdiness, but I was so excited to hear and understand little snippets of Korean as I watched this movie. I was a little annoyed at first because they introduced the characters as Chinese, and the friend who went with me can attest my annoyance. Why are they having Korean actors play Chinese mafia men??? I was so pleased to hear them speak Korean that I squealed in my chair and clapped my hands like a little schoolgirl. No shame here, folks.
- Absolutely Ridiculous / Bizarre Pseudo-Science - First things first, let's just take a moment to finally put to rest the absurd myth that humans only access 10% of their mental capacity at any given time. People, it's just not true. Yeah, it sounds appealing, and, honestly, I get it. It's a lovely boat to hop on for those touting the potential of humanity, but it's sheer bunk. A depressing amount of movies are based on this ideology, and it seems that it's gaining more traction as fact rather than fiction as a result. Ugh.
|Someone put the greenlight on the above words.|
That someone should be flayed.
- The Script - The dialogue made me want to ragekill Luc Besson. I even went so far as to utter "Oh, my God," in the middle of the theater after a few of the lines. I have only done this once before in my life (see the screenshot to the right) because who am I to critique? Do I have a blockbuster movie to speak of? Nope. I've got nuttin', so I should just keep my mouth shut. But seriously, guys. SO AWFUL.
- The Story - Being that the story was written around absolute lunacy (see the first bullet point in THE BAD list), Mr. Besson was starting out with his work cut out for him. A generally excellent story teller (see The Fifth Element), Besson's efforts fell flat and ended up flailing about aimlessly as the train careened, out of control, toward ultimate disaster.
- Underdeveloped Characters - I wanted so much more from every single one of the characters. Like I said above, I really appreciated a ballsy female lead that wasn't a sex object or a bitch, but Lucy had such great potential to be something amazing. Even Morgan Freeman's neuroscientist character was rather 2-dimensional and lacked depth. As a result, I didn't really feel connected to anyone on the screen.
- The Final Sequence - Good gravy, the end. It was a giant, incoherent mess that made Lucy into God (the Sistine Chapel reference was not lost on this set of sharp eyes) while also alienating every single person in the audience due to mass confusion (Seriously, how did the Dr. know what the hell Lucy was doing?). Nothing made sense, but it felt like it was trying desperately to do so... and failing. Failing oh so hard.
I don't recommend watching this movie... ever. If you are a diehard ScarJo fan, then I guess go for it, but plan to feel betrayed by the seemingly cool trailer. You have been warned, so don't you dare put any blame on me.
It had potential - really, it did - but it failed so fantastically and so fully in its efforts to create an edgy, thought-provoking film that all potential was completely forgotten by the end.
In summation, don't waste your time.