“We never really die.”

Firstly, I saw this French science fiction film in a French cinema with voice dubbing for any of the English spoken scenes.. into French. I couldn’t really tell when people were supposed to be speaking English or when they were speaking French, so bear with.


Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) is a woman who is accidentally brought into a drug ring where she is stuffed (literally) full of drugs, CPH4, and sent on her way by a Korean mob. After being beaten viciously by one of the mob the drugs are released into her system and she starts to develop powers beyond normal human capacity. Along the way of getting revenge on her captors, who then in turn start to seek her out, she contacts Professor Norman (Morgan Freeman) in order to recruit his help in saving her from her own expanding mental capacity which will eventually cause her own destruction.

Okay, so there’s no doubt this film is pretty. The special effects are nice to look at, especially on a big screen, all the wiggly coloured lines and light and stuff. That was great. Also, the fact that it was kind of an interesting twist on the Superhero movie genre was good. This could have easily been a good backstory for a strong female Superhero who I would have loved to kick some more butt, but unfortunately the ending of the film kind of put a stop to any other films that could have been added on to add to the character. Lucy had some cool, albeit pretty non-specific powers.


Now for the negatives. When I came out of the cinema I turned to the people I was with and said ‘All special effects and no real plot or character development’. It’s pretty much blasphemy to criticise a Luc Besson film where I’m from in France because they all see him as some kind of cinematic genius… So I was surprised when they agreed with me. I would have liked to have seen a little bit more character development from Lucy at the beginning of the film, so that we felt more empathy and rooted for her a little more. The lack of character development in the rest of the film was fine because that was the point; as she progressed she became less and less human, but the problem was I didn’t root for her to defeat the bad guys and complete her quest in the first place. I just kind of felt neutral.


The idea wasn’t original (Transcendence, Limitless), but that wasn’t really the problem for me… It was the fact that Besson was trying to make it a lot more intelligent than it really was. The plot became a little bit blurred and Lucy’s intentions for getting to Professor Norman were lost to me at first. There were a lot of scenes and clips of nature that I saw as unnecessary. Towards the end of the film Lucy travels back and meets the first female, also called Lucy, because.. uh.. well, we’re not really sure. Why not.

A bunch of special effects didn’t really add or explain anything to the film and I came out of the cinema thinking that Besson may have intended to have some kind of underlying message in the film (Save the whales, be nice to you’re fellow humans, that kind of thing), although I had absolutely no idea what that message was supposed to be.

Verdict: 2.5/5. I wasn’t adverse to it, nor do I have any kind of hatred towards this film. The acting was great, special effects were pretty… but meh. It could have been better. It tries to be smarter than it is.