Less Fact, More Fiction: Lucy Review


When you see the Lucy trailer, the first thing you think of is Limitless plus powers. If you've watched Bradley Cooper's 2011 thriller then you're not gonna be able to help but compare. Both have the same basic premise: What would happen if you unlock the complete potential of your mind? But while Limitless keeps itself grounded, Lucy seems to let go of all restraint and embraces absurdity.

Not that that's bad in itself though. Lots of superhero movies have needed a certain amount of suspension of disbelief. But IS this a superhero movie though? It seems like it can be different things to different people. I thought it was going to be an action film, (Like the female Bourne) and while it DID have a high octane start, the suspense quickly deteriorated. How do you root for someone who has the power of a god? Where is the conflict? What's at stake? Who or what does she contend with throughout the movie? There was the Asian mass murderer, but he hardly posed a threat to someone who could stop time, control minds, manipulate all her cells (which I'm assuming would mean she could self-heal), control gravity, etc. (She was basically the whole Justice League in one person.)

The only best action scene. (Heh. "Action.")

So maybe there doesn't have to be a physical conflict or enemy for our super-powered Lucy. Maybe it was simply meant to be philosophical in nature. But in the end, what was the idea that was being presented? That humanity needs to live more instead of build more? That the way we live now is somehow a waste of our potential? That humans inadvertently limits itself? That evolving would make us one with the universe? That being a higher form of being will lead to your INhumanity? That humanity was not meant to feel, to dream, to love? That all the knowledge in the universe can fit in a USB? (Last one was a joke.) I'm not exactly sure what message the movie was trying to convey. And I don't think it had enough time to really explore that message since half of the movie were all these action beats and there was a severe lack of (relatable) character development.

Lady with god-like powers and guy with god-like voice.

Oh and the tidbit about humans only using 10% of our brain capacity is baloney. It was a nice sci fi story premise, but it's been disproved. And that's probably one of the reasons I couldn't take it too seriously. It's hard to ponder on existential questions when the basic premise of the movie doesn't "exist".

My face when the movie ended.

The confusion of what the movie was supposed to be aside, I did still enjoy it. Scarlett Johansson is perfectly able to carry the movie on her own. She depicts Lucy's psychological and physical transformation with ease. It was fun to see her go from scared, confused, hooker-y Lucy to cold, calculating, robotic, god-lady. The visual style of the movie is also worth mentioning. The director's use of sudden cutaways to provoke emotion or provide context might not have been an orthodox approach, but it added a refreshing layer to its story-telling. And Lucy's "powers" were pretty diverse and fun to watch.


Lucy started out strong, but it got uninteresting real quick. The suspenseful first scenes were reduced to dull car chases and inconsequential gunfights and ultimately to a lack of a powerful, more coherent conclusion/payoff. I guess it was an abstract film, too abstract for me.

(Being half of a superhero/action film and half of a philosophical drama film earns it half a perfect score.)