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From La Femme Nikita and The Professional to The Fifth Element, writer/director Luc Besson has created some of the toughest, most memorable female action heroes in cinematic history. Now, Besson directs Scarlett Johansson in Lucy, an action-thriller that tracks a woman accidentally caught in a dark deal who turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic. Lucy also stars Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman.
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The opening scene places you in Taipei (Taiwan) with a scene where Lucy is partying. The next point her boyfriend is trying to convince her to deliver a mysterious briefcase. At this point we learn that the case contains a blue powdery substance - a drug. The plan is to have Lucy become a mule and transport the substance back to Europe. However, during the night the bag leaks and the drugs intereact opening her cerebral capacity. While this scene was vital for setting up the backstory for how Lucy gets her abilitys it was poorly done. It was quick and dirty and just left you thinking "really?". The next chapter in this allegory unfolds into Morgan Freeman's character espousing scientific views on cerebral capacity and the fruits it may yeild. This is where things fall apart in more than one way. The normally excellent stability that Morgan Freeman can provide to a movie is not enough to save this ship from sinking. The whole movie shifts from plot and substance to explosions and special effects. The deterioration of plot is also evident in the enourmous body count that is racked up in the later part of the film. At the end you're questioning what you just saw and trying to reconcile if you wasted your time and money. I for one answered quickly - yes on both counts. However, if you're curious and enjoy things blowing up and cool special effects you might just obtain a degree of utility from this movie.
"Lucy" has to be milestone in science fiction. Beside being an exciting adventure story, terrific stunts, well filmed, superb editing, and excellent sound and scoring, it's a movie I'll watch a couple more times before I break out a fresh film. I've only seen it on DVD, but i would have loved to see it on the big screen. The science is accurate, the story, fascinating, with a convincing performance by Scarlett Johansson. Lucy will stand along with Capt. Kirk as a memorable character. Morgan Freeman, as usual, held the story together.
Worth watching, but temper expectations.
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