There’s a lot of talk about the science in Lucy, and admittedly it is a little silly, that drugs could open a threshold to tapping into the limitless potential of our minds and our connection to the universe is wishful thinking. The idea that we only use 10% of our brains is just not accurate but is a mythology that continues to persist none the less. After all, humanity has been experimenting with drug use since before recorded history, and if drugs provided a way to unlock some hidden superpower inducing abilities, the knowledge of how to achieve it would be widespread knowledge by now, and a readily accessible part of the public domain.
Silly science aside, Luc Besson’s Lucy is for me a delightfully entertaining example of his work and his distinctive style born out the French New Wave cinema sometimes referred to as Cinema du look. Besson’s ability to tell stories by way of a film is nearly unmatched these days, making him one of the world’s most admired living filmmakers. Not only is he an excellent director, but he’s also a talented screenwriter, and producer as well. The French have made a worthy contribution to genre films, and Besson is one of the main reasons why.
In case you aren’t familiar with the film, Lucy is a 2014 English-language French science fiction action film written and directed by Luc Besson for his company Europacorp. Filmed in Taipei, Paris and New York City, it stars Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Choi Min-Sik and Amor Waked. Johansson portrays the title character, a woman who gains psychokinetic abilities when an accident introduces a nootropic drug into her bloodstream.
Scarlett is a big reason this film works; she has proven how well she can perform in physically demanding roles. Her portrayal of Black Widow in Marvel’s The Avengers franchise has made her work in the part one of the of the most liked character depictions in contemporary genre films. Her physical attractiveness and presence on screen are undeniable.
I love this story about Scarlett’s drug-fueled odyssey to reach her brain’s full potential. Another reason I love this film is its portrayal of psychic abilities and the limitless potential of the mind we may all potentially possess, to some degree or another, and how the movie’s narrative embraces it as a subject worth considering. While I don’t believe drug use can suddenly open up new hitherto hidden abilities, that doesn’t mean I think these capabilities don’t exist, and abilities like telepathy and telekinesis may someday enjoy widespread acknowledgment.
The story provides an enjoyable, and delightful opportunity to discuss the limitless theoretical potential of our minds and our undeniable connectivity to the universe that gave us birth and provides the basis of our existence. I love the vast and cosmic implications of this film.
The film has an almost relentless sequence of action and violence, that is not only engaging, and entertains, but is also amusing at times. Besson has always shown a flair for capturing action scenes well on film, along with the ability to make them delightfully and memorably fun and unique.
Of course, Morgan Freeman is always a welcome addition to any production, he provides the voice reason this time around, a sort of anchoring context for the film’s fantastical events.
It’s interesting to note that Lucy has a higher rating with critics (67%) than it does with fans (47%) on Rotten Tomatoes. Who’s got it right? A sequel is on the way.