Ah, Lucy. I wanted to like this one. It had fun car chases and Choi Min-sik! The only thing it needed was bacon! Alas, I tell a lie. Lucy needed a lot more than bacon. It hurt. I have no choice but to give this a Hell in a Handbasket categorization. Here are the issues I took with it.
|I wouldn’t look so pleased with yourself.
#1 – Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett has so many qualities I love: blonde hair, husky voice, breasts for days. I should want to strangle a mountain lion with my bare hands for a shot with her, and yet I find my reaction to her is quite the opposite. I can’t quite pinpoint what it is. Feel free to chime in and tell me, because I just don’t know. Maybe it’s her trying too hard to be sexy. Maybe I just don’t like her acting style. Watching someone that wooden with a good script is painful. While it worked for this character, I have to admit that watching someone else would have been far more enjoyable.
#2 – Obvious symbolism
Between the ancestral Lucy, the rat approaching the cheese in the trap, and the cheetah chasing and pouncing on the impala, I felt like director Luc Besson was handing everything to me within the first ten minutes of the film in the worst way possible: it treated me like a moron that needed everything spelled out; there are many people I could visit that can insult me in a kinder way than this. It kept going, which got obnoxious quick. It felt like Besson was preaching to the lowest common denominator. I don’t need the movie pre-chewed and handed to me, thanks. That shit doesn’t fly with me.
#3 – The ten percent myth
I get that some myths beg for cinematic treatment. It worked in Troll Hunter. The ten percent of the human brain myth, however, is hotly debated at best and poorly understood at worst. I’m not going to go into it here because it’ll only aggravate me. I will say, though, that just because Morgan Freeman says it’s true in a movie doesn’t make it any more true. It felt like Besson was trying to sell us on this concept as fact. Science isn’t exactly his strong point. It showed.
#4 – Gut surgery and easy movement
I speak from experience when I say this: even if you’ve only had minor abdominal surgery, moving around afterwards sucks. Did you see how much shit they pulled out of her? Yeah, that’s a lot of foreign object, especially for a small opening. Abdominal surgery’s small incisions can be brutal in terms of healing, especially if you’re pulling a small brick out of it. It hurts. Walking is slow and painful, and the incision itself reminds you via throbbing and tenderness that something much larger came out of that small hole.
That Lucy moves around that easily pre-drug explosion is just not believable, let alone after her second surgery in a day or so. I could not get on board with that willing suspension of disbelief.
|Sit down and grab some ice already!
#5 – The mom on the phone
If my kid was telling me that she could feel time and space, and remember me breastfeeding her, I’d probably start asking her what she’d been smoking. That the mom on the phone is so fucking clueless and nonchalant boggles my mind. Either this was the most stoned-on-Valium mother on the planet, or this was poorly written by someone who didn’t give a shit as to the flow of a real conversation. All it was missing was a giggle and a “Girl, you’re so crazy!”
#6 – The hospital
You just shot someone to death on the operating table and had a forearm’s worth of illegal drugs pulled out of your belly, but you get to walk out of the hospital immediately following surgery (nevermind that it was abdominal surgery yet again – I’m willing to give the drug explosion credit for that). Are the rules and processes so lax in Taipei that this can happen? I’ve worked in a hospital and can tell you that the minute someone senses anything illegal, security is called and the whole place goes under lockdown. Wouldn’t it have been more challenging to have our main character think her way out of the situation? Then again, thinking doesn’t seem to be a strong point here.
#7 – The bad guys just don’t learn
I don’t know about you, but if someone makes my henchmen levitate, she can do whatever the hell she wants. Don’t keep going after someone that can influence the actions of others. If you can produce an invisible wall to stop me from moving around, you sure as shit get to come and go as you please. That these drug lords are so dim just makes me shudder.
#8 – Can someone give me a hand?
I’m no anatomy expert, but wouldn’t it be difficult to, say, point a gun and make a fist if someone stabbed through your fucking hands?! The sheer way that the tendons, veins and arteries come together to make the hands work are nothing short of amazing; even slight damage can impact function. There’s not even a wince on Choi Min-sik’s face as he’s trying to fire a gun. Unfuckingbelieveable.
#9 – Eat blue crystals, puke rainbows!
The plane scene, where Lucy is chowing down on the drugs to prevent disintegration. It felt like it was being written into a corner and had to write its way out. She lost teeth, her skin was coming off, her face was collapsing. Let’s fix this with a giant rainbow explosion! I know this was done for effect. I had to laugh, though. I started singing the theme song to Jem and the Holograms in my head at this point. Yes, I’m an ass. Lucy is outrageous. Truly, truly, truly outrageous.
|Fun with CGI!
#10 – The race to 100%
This felt rushed. Like Besson was writing and suddenly realized that he didn’t have 3 hours to tell his story. We jumped 30% in less than 5 minutes. That’s a lot, especially considering how big of a deal was made when she jumped 5-10%. Pacing can be everything. This one felt like a quickie gone wrong: it was like someone screamed, “Quick, the kids are running up the stairs!” and this film tried to get to the finish line in a hurry.
#11 – The universe birth/time travel montage
Very pretty, but it felt like someone screaming, “Look how smart I am!!!!” (The extra exclamation points stay, if only on principle.) Some filmmakers are smart, and produce clever works that manage to retain that quality because they are so good on multiple facets: writing, editing, direction, acting, music choices, etc. This exact sequence struck me as someone spoon-feeding me how great he thought he own work was. You know what it reminds me of, now that I think about it? That asshole that memorizes a philosophy book and then tries to troll an entire undergraduate class. Everyone wants that kid to fail publicly.
In the end, this felt like a nature show written by a stoned college freshman trying to wear a science fiction costume. It failed in my book. Feel free to disagree with me. I couldn’t help but shake my head and huff.