Review – Lucy


This review first appeared in BMA Magazine.

Welcome to the new age of machine gun metaphysics with Lucy.

A young student living in Taiwan, Lucy (Scarlett Johansson), becomes a drug mule against her will at the hands of a crime lord (Choi Min-sik). Surgeons insert a packet of synthetic drugs into Lucy’s abdomen that bursts while she’s travelling to Europe. As a result, she begins acquiring increasingly powerful mental talents and physical abilities.

Writer and director Luc Besson is back in The Fifth Element form messing around with ideas about human brain capacity, executed in dialogue that sounds like a Wikipedia entry, amidst hectic car chases and hallway gun battles. Any deconstruction of the plot results in Besson screaming back, “BECAUSE SCIENCE!”

Lucy is elevated to a God-like status with each percentage of brain power she unlocks, that’s contrasted against the chaos caused by the villains still in cave-man mode. Besson wildly unleashes his special brand of Euro crazy and the sillier Lucy gets, the better it gets, not many action films confidently go bonkers like Lucy.

Johansson channels Robert Patrick’s T-1000 from Terminator 2: Judgment Day as Lucy’s mind accelerates at the speed of light. Choi Min-sik is a tantalising villain who walks in the footsteps of the corrupt Norman Stansfield (played by Gary Oldman) from Besson’s Leon: The Professional.

Lucy is science-fiction lunacy and it’s great to be back in the madhouse with Besson as he flips cars and minds.


Cameron Williams
The Popcorn Junkie