Cinematic Releases: Lucy

Scarlett Johansson stars in this week's release, Lucy.

"What have I done?
Why did I take this role?"
One time visionary director, Luc Besson, turns out a flat footed, unintelligible, and astoundingly vapid piece of cinema that takes itself way too seriously. Lucy is the perfect specimen of how a great premise can be twisted into a cliched ninety minutes of totally needless car chases, gun fights, and horrendous attempts at capturing another story about singularity. Scarlett (as usual) is seething with sexuality, but the unflinching similarities to her Under The Skin character make Lucy even less enjoyable with her mundane performance as another beautiful creature that lacks the skills to emote even in the slightest.

Lucy blends familiar themes we've already visited with other movies like Limitless and The Matrix. However, Luc Besson doesn't have the chops to deliver anything as high brow as Lucy. Every time the movie starts to make some headway, Besson becomes self aware and boastfully tries to manipulate this in to another Transporter movie with ludicrous action sequences, onslaughts of vehicular stunt work, and French cops that are better suited to the umpteen atrocities he's produced in the last decade. This is Besson at his worst and he (as a director) belongs nowhere near the summer season. With that said,  Lucy would feel right at home amongst the dregs of the fall release schedule.

"Stop checking out my guns."

Just like Johnny Depp's character in this summer's other incoherent blunder, Transcendence, Scarlett's Lucy feels under inspired, bored, and isn't given a single chance to bring forth any semblance of character development or depth. Her performance is strangled by a concept that could never be brought to fruition under the haphazard script and the sheer failings of the production as a whole. If one ounce of creativity had been dedicated to rounding out this premise, this could have been a decent movie. But, as it stands, Lucy is a movie that wastes Morgan Freeman and Scarlett Johansson to the best of its abilities with no respect for the audience that just dropped ten bucks on a total cinematic bomb.

Lucy is symptomatic of a director with a big head and too much creative control. Besson goes all out to impress audiences with artistic cut scenes that feel contrived, out of place, and insultingly barren of any true meaning. We get dinosaurs, primates, vast explorations of space, the breakdown of cellular structure, chase scene after chase scene, and asian gangsters that want Scarlett dead. That's Lucy: a muddled feature by the same guy that made movies like The Professional and The Fifth Element. What?

In the hands of a more capable, youthful director with a grasp on how to blend modern science fiction with action, Lucy could have been good. But, it's not.