Lucy (2014) – Movie Review

After the many scathing reviews, I went to this film with very mixed feelings. I certainly didn’t expect serious Sci-Fi – after all, I had seen the trailers – but I actually wasn’t quite sure what to expect (and I’m not sure I would have gone to see it at all, If it hadn’t been directed by Luc Besson). Well, maybe it’s just because I expected to be disappointed, but I was pleasantly surprised. ‘Lucy’ delivers a fast paced, crazy ride from start to finish, and I’m frankly a bit shocked so many people seem to hate this film with so much passion. Hadn’t they seen the trailers? I thought it was clear from the get-go that this film was first and foremost meant as entertainment (and it certainly doesn’t pretend to be the new ‘2001’).

If ‘Lucy’ were based on a comic book, I highly doubt people would be criticising it as harshly as they are. Let’s be honest: from a scientific point of view, the stories of Captain America, Superman, Thor, the Hulk, Iron Man, Spider Man and the X-Men are all enthusiastically silly. None of these stories are even remotely realistic – and they were never meant to be: that’s why they call them “SUPER-heroes”. So how come so many film fans take the “10% of the brain” premise so very, very seriously? I mean, this is Luc Besson: ‘The Fifth Element’ was just as over-the-top and most people seemed to have really enjoyed it (at least at the time; maybe now it would also get shredded to pieces for “lack of realism”). The way I see it, ‘Lucy’ is simply Besson’s take on the superhero movie (towards the end of the film, the title character actually comes across like a fun, female version of Dr Manhattan).

Granted, many aspects of ‘Lucy’ ARE very silly, but visually the film is absolutely stunning and it at least tries to tell an original story and throws in some very interesting philosophical (and yes: even scientific) concepts and questions. So not unlike the films based on Marvel or DC comics, this is a wild mix of Fantasy, Sci-Fi and Action elements – and what’s so wrong with that all of a sudden? If you watch it for what it is – a fun, fast summer movie with inventive visuals – I don’t see why you wouldn’t enjoy it. Quality-wise, this certainly isn’t ‘The Matrix’ or ‘Blade Runner’, for sure (but hey: what is?), but ‘Lucy’ is still packed with enough creative ideas and great action scenes to get your money’s worth. Plus it features Morgan Freeman and an absolutely gorgeous Scarlett Johansson.

So my verdict: It’s rare enough these days to get an original Fantasy/Sci-Fi tale with a decent budget in the first place – let alone one for grown-ups with an R-rating. It may not be as good as it could have been (and it does feel a bit rushed), but it is very far from the catastrophic mess many critics make it out to be. As far as I’m concerned, ‘Lucy’ is a fun, crazy ride from start to finish.

 

7 out of 10 stars

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