This summer has been a drag as far as blockbuster movies are concerned. As it stands, Transformers: Age of Extinction has been the only must-see-movie for me and my social circle. So, when the trailers for Lucy started popping up, I got a little excited that I may get the superhero-themed movie I was hoping for this summer; or at least until Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles drops on August 1st.That said, I'll make this review easy on everyone and get straight to the point before diving deeper into my
summary of this hero flick starring the sultry Scarlet Johansson. Here goes...
If you've seen Morgan Freeman narrate anything on Discovery Channel, you have already seen this movie!
Lucy is one of those movies that leaves you seated with a blank stare of bewilderment as the final credits scroll. It also triggers an involuntary response to check time as the movie seemed to end just as quickly as it started. In fact, the movie actually opens with Lucy and her new boyfriend of just a week standing outside an office building arguing over who was going to take locked briefcase to her boyfriend's contact inside. There is no explanation other than a hard night of partying to address how the two characters came to arrive at this high-risk delivery and there initially is no details of the contents of the briefcase. Within minutes, Richard pulls a punk move and handcuffs the case to Lucy's wrist and thus begins her journey to superpowers and using 100% of her brain capacity.
As the story quickly develops, we learn that the contents of the briefcase contains a synthetic drug with interesting side effects. So when it is later decided that Lucy would be forced to transport the drugs out of the country by having them surgically implanted in her abdomen, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what will eventually happen.
Lucy takes not time to get to the good stuff. Almost as soon as the drugs are released into her bloodstream, she immediately becomes aware of her new found abilities. She quickly escapes captivity and starts working on a solution to her problem all while embracing her advanced use of her brain. Fortunately for her there is a solution out there in the form of Morgan Freeman's Professor Norman.
[In my Lucius Fox voice] Now, Professor Norman's character has a some long fancy credentials, but I prefer to simply call him the narrator. Essentially, Freeman provides the narration for the entire movie in the form of a concurrent lecture on his research, theories, and hypothesis on advanced levels of access to the human brain. As Lucy is dealing with some bad guys and seeking answers, Professor Norman is shown via several cut scenes lecturing a room of researchers and describing what he believes may happen as higher percentages of the brain are used. Meanwhile, Lucy is pretty much doing it on-screen.
Ultimately, my baby momma from an alternate universe delivers a decent performance and definitely looks good on screen. In fact, she appears to be more fit as Lucy than she was as Black Widow in Avengers. My only gripe about her character was her lack of emotion and the flat voice tone she spoke with. Is that what happens when you use more than 10% of your brain? That is one of the questions I had while staring at the credits!
Freeman also delivered as I expected. In fact, I'm starting to think Morgan Freeman has been playing the same character since 1995. Thanks to his narration, it did feel as though I was watching a 1 hour special on Discovery Channel. Fortunately for Morgan Freeman, I actually like watching his shows about how the universe was formed or extraterrestrial life; I'm just not sure of the rest of the moviegoers will appreciate it.
One element of the screenplay that pulled me in was the frequent updates on what percentage of access to her brain Lucy has. This eventually adds the necessary tension to the movie as I was left anticipating the next major event that Professor Norman hypothesized and like clockwork, something would happen that included some major action piece or visual effect. Unfortunately, this formula was not without flaws. One such flaw was a car chase scene.
Most all action movies nowadays include at least one chase scene. Lucy was no different and executed it effectively as cars flipped, exploded, and tumbled on screen. The only problem was that her ass wasn't being chased, nor was she chasing anybody. She was simply trying to get from point A to B quickly. So as I sat starring at the credits, my next question was, “she had already demonstrated the ability to move objects, why did she feel the need to demolish cars left and right when all she had to do was slide them out of the way with her mind?”
Finally, I will fast forward to the cliffhanger moment of the movie – what happens when she reaches 100% access to her brain? Well, lets just say, she didn't go the route of Dr. Manhattan of The Watchmen, but she kind of did. She also didn't go the way of Johnny Depp in Transcendence, but she kind of did. Finally, she didn't pull a Neo in the Matrix, but she kind of did. In fact, lets just say, it was a mash-up of all three but it kind of wasn't.
I would like to call her final state NeoManSendence.
By the time she hit 90% it was somewhat obvious what would happen in the end. Additionally, there is an early movie reference that hints at what we could expect. It is actually so significant that I won't mention it in this review as it will probably spoil the movie. The problem I had with the final outcome is, the hint was so deliberate that I had to ride out the last hour of the flick pretending like I didn't figure it out!
Question number three as I started at the credits...”how dumb did the writers think we were?”
As much as I love me some ScarJo, her star power and gorgeous looks just didn't save this film. Lucy is a clear attempt to give us more Black Widow until we actually get the real Black Widow in Avengers 2. Sadly, it fall just short of summer blockbuster and is best watched during the matinee hours at your local theater.
Her are my final thoughts on Lucy:
- That kick drum was sick! I have got to sample that and use it in a rap beat!
- Scarlett looks better as a blonde, but red is where it is at with her! Avengers 2 can't get here fast enough.
- So if, humans ever had full control of their brains and eventually lost the ability to do so via evolution, where are the super beings? Hmm...is this a subtle hint that religions were based on these super humans??? Hmmmmm...
- If this movie was made 10 years ago, how would you explain storing all that data on a Zip Disk? If it were made 15 years ago, how did all that get stored on a Floppy...and God forbid that movie was made 25 years ago, how many Scantron sheets would it have required!
Disclaimer: Steve is an employee of Turner Broadcasting, a division of Time Warner, however the views expressed in this post are of my own.