“Black Widow… With Superpowers.” (Lucy)

Lucy (Poster)
Seriously, anything sounds cooler than just… Lucy.

Can I just say for a minute that I’m really sick of the trend that dictates movies to name themselves after their main characters? I know it might sound cool, but in my mind, it’s just uncreative. Why couldn’t someone take the extra few minutes to think up a more interesting title for the movie? Personally, I would be more interested in something that displayed the movie’s theme more, rather than a movie just called Lucy. Really, it’s not that bad, but it’s pretty underwhelming.

So anyway, I saw Lucy. I didn’t like the title.

Lucy (enter last name here) hits a stroke of bad luck when she gets roped into a deal with a couple of criminals, some other kidnapped people, and multiple bags of drugs. Soon, she accidentally ingests the drugs, and unlocks portions of her mind that were previously unused.

I feel like this movie is doing for 2014 what the original Superman did for the kids of the late 70’s. And yes, I have seen Superman. It’s a brilliant film. The whole advertising scheme for Superman was that it’s effects were cutting edge, and that you would “believe a man could fly.” And for all intents and purposes, it worked. The movie was not only technically impressive, it was also very well received in pretty much every other area. This movie is technically impressive as well, and while it didn’t use that as an advertising scheme, it certainly knows it.

The whole point of this movie is to see how powerful Lucy gets. It’s really a film about the wonders and mysteries of the human mind, but the problem is that Lucy tries to be an action film as well. And it does a great job at it, too. The action scenes in Lucy were exhilarating. But, there’s something weird about both a thoughtful movie about the human brain’s evolution, and a pulse pounding thriller staring God. It just can’t be both things! Pick a side, Lucy! (And a better title.)

But that’s not even counting the narrative problems. In it’s barebones storyline, Lucy suffers from a massive lack of direction. Sure, she wants to pull the bag of drugs out, so she goes to a hospital, and she wants to learn more about whats happening to her, so she contacts Morgan Freeman, and she wants to have the other carriers not reach their destinations, so she tips off the police (just a bit). But mostly, the movie is just her traveling from set piece to set piece, with no discernible goal, or end in sight.

Lucy (2014)
Quiet. Lucy’s building… something.

Let’s take Star Wars for example. In that movie, the goal is clear. Rescue the princess, defeat Vader and the empire. In Lucy, the goal isn’t clear at all. Lucy just sort of goes places, and does stuff. Now, that’s not to say it dosen’t have a plot, or that movies haven’t turned out very well even when they’ve been deliberately concealing about their endings, but Lucy comes off as a little unfocused to me.

Every movie needs a threatening threat, right? You need a good villain, and you need to have good conflict, (or at least an action movie does), but Lucy completely ignores this. While she’s walking around, Lucy is just kicking the crap out of every person you see. And yes, that’s really cool. It’s super freaking awesome to see Lucy literally drop 15 guys with a flick of the wrist. But later in the movie, you realize that this totally undercuts the suspense. If Lucy can just put anyone she dosen’t like to sleep, or just send them to *gasp* the ceiling, then there’s no conflict in the movie. There are scenes when she’ll walk into a room, and be faced with just around 20 henchmen. And I’ll be thinking in my head: Oh, she’s got this. She’s already done this twenty times before. The only question is how is she going to do it now. And yes, it is fun to think “how?” But this all really undercuts the suspense of the movie.

There are times in the movie when some of the bad guys are right there, with the drugs in their hands! And they don’t take them! Now, that’s not bad in and of itself, but imagine how cool it could be to see an evenly matched battle between Lucy and another one of the godlike beings who can use 100% of their brain. The movie was actually developing certain villains that that process could have worked for, but without the miracle drugs, the villains were just laughably outgunned. It almost felt like a drafted script, that a screenwriter would submit to a studio. He would say,

Still Lucy (Lucy)
That’s still Lucy.

“Hey, guys. I’ve got this really cool idea for a movie! It stars Scarlet Johansson as an ass-kicking god, who runs around unlocking all of her brain’s abilities!”

And they would say,

“Wow! That sounds really awesome! One question, though. Does this script of yours have a… villain… perhaps?”

And so on.

“Oh, you’re soooooo right! I’ll go add that in right now!” *dashes out*

In the end, Lucy is a really fun ride, with some great effects, an interesting plotline, and is (not surprisingly) very thoughtful. But it gets bogged down by it’s lack of conflict or direction, and sometimes can come off as a bit strange. I’m not saying you won’t like it, though. I certainly enjoyed it, and I think a lot of other people did too, but it does have some room for improvement. 6 out of 10.

Lucy was a very enjoyable movie. It certainly had it’s flaws, like bad conflict, or any certain sense of goals, and it was definitely indecisive. It tried to pull off a thoughtful scientific look at the human mind, and an action thriller at the same time, and both sides came off a bit unpolished. Even still, I had a lot of fun watching it, and I think others will too. It’s a little rough around the edges, but a good ride.

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