Overall Grade: (C-)
The only thing that matched the hype this movie received was the level of disappointment felt from a film that tried to give off an intelligent feel to a dumbed down action back-story.
“LUCY” tells the story of an innocent woman (Johansson) who is forced into the drug smuggling trade by the leaders of a violent crime organization. When the synthetic drugs inside her burst from their packaging and begin to seep into her system she begins to feel an empowering control over her brains capability.
With little option for support, Lucy turns to Professor Norman (Freeman) one of the leading specialists in the human brain. While he and a small team try to wrap their head around the concept of what she has become, Lucy will relentlessly pursue those responsible while trying to comprehend the powers she possesses as she reaches the ability to use 100% of her brain power.
It was safe to I was on the fence about what I was expecting from this film when I went in. The premise interested me, it felt like an expansion of the theme given from “Limitless” and from the trailer the promise of some action reminiscent to a Statham action flick, replacing him with Scarlett Johansson as the heroine. It looked to be a strong mix for an entertaining action sci-fi adventure.
This one started out quick and managed to build intrigue and tension in prompt fashion. Much of the first-act was highly entertaining and the story-line felt fresh and fast paced, much like the trailer wanted you to believe. The trade for the films plot being laid out quickly in front of you, was a second-act that seemed to take too far of a turn off the deep end. The promising premise that was introduced would result in a story direction that tried to give off intelligence, but could only claim to have given off some mild creativity at best.
The problem with this massively successful summer blockbuster was a clear lack of positive direction on the tone they wanted this tale to take. At times the film seemed torn between wanting to be a sophisticated science-fiction thriller one minute and a rather mindless action movie the next. The chemistry between the cast as a whole seemed off, mainly in the antagonists, who regardless of their nicely tailored suits still seemed to dumb down the seriousness of the film with their every awkward onscreen presence.
The carbon copy drug-lord bad guys didn’t seem to fit into the tone of the script and just when I would start to actually develop some interest in the fictional science of the plot’s jargon filled dialogue, the gun-toting antagonists would bust in and remind me of the hindrances this film had that ultimately killed some of the fun, and a lot of the potential.
The two leads were not a deterrence from this film, if anything their presence made a below average film, watchable. Freeman was his usual charming self with little effort needed. Johansson was solid and proved she can be a leading-lady in Hollywood, in a range of genres. Maybe boasting more of her action capability would have made this film more enjoyable having let the scripts direction lean more toward a pure action movie. Or, if the filmmakers would have went the opposite direction and tried to lean more toward the thriller realm, this could have felt like a more organized film rather then the cluttered script it finished with.
Overall it wasn’t a horrible movie but it was not what I expected from a film that came close to pulling in a half a billion dollars at the box-office. If you pass on this one you will be missing a solid performance from Johansson but only an average story at best.