Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Lucy – Wonderfully Wacky

Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’ is quite possibly the craziest movie you’ll watch all year . . . and it’s all the better for it.

The ever-reliable Scarlett Johansson stars in this 90-minute sci-fi action thriller as Lucy, a young woman unknowingly drawn into the world of high-stakes drug smuggling. However, when a load of this new narcotic seeps its way into her system, her brain begins to develop rapidly, using more and more of its maximum capacity.

And, while Lucy is left kicking an increasing number of butts, the equally reliable Morgan Freeman leads an academic lecture about the true potential of the human brain . . . and the parallelism works like a charm. What you’ll have explained one minute, you’ll witness the next.


Besson also deserves a massive pat on the back for being one of the few high-profile filmmakers who understands the benefit of 90-minute genre movies. ‘Lucy’ absolutely tears along, refusing to let up for even a minute. It’s how these kind of movies should be made, and I’d love other directors to follow suit.

That’s not to say it’s all plain sailing. The token car chase is unsettlingly brutal and a few grandiose flashbacks to our evolutionary ancestors are a tad too much. But, that being said, Besson covers his back . . . (yup, you guessed it) with the running time. The whole thing zips along and never gives any scene more than a few minutes of screen time. So, even if something doesn’t work so well, there’s always a gunfight just around the corner.

There are a few things that remain consistently excellent, however. Johansson’s performance is fab and yet again cements her place amongst the best in the business for female-led actioneers. She delivers a remarkably physical performance and leads the movie brilliantly. Even when her character gets increasingly apathetic as the drugs gradually take hold, she never loses the audience.

Kudos as well for the ending. Besson goes all out and turns the bonkers dial up to eleven, while somehow delivering the most insightful and cathartic moment of the whole movie. The film breathes a glorious sigh and I’d been so engaged in the action up until that point that I hadn’t anticipated Besson’s reveal in the slightest. It may not work for everyone, but I thought it was brilliantly done.

‘Lucy’ is one of the most confident movies I’ve seen in a long time. It knows exactly what it is and what it wants to be. Great stuff!

★★★★