Friday, August 1, 2014

Lucy Surprised Me

From the trailers, I couldn't tell what kind of movie Lucy was gonna be. It looked like an awkward attempt at a superhero flick, trying too desperately to take advantage of Scarlett Johansson's current popularity. So I gotta admit, I was wrong. The initial movie I imagined from the trailer and the movie I saw on Wednesday were two completely different animals.
Lucy is everything Transcendence failed to be. It's the story of a ditzy girl who gets abducted and used as a mule by a pretty ridiculous drug cartel. But when something goes wrong and the experimental drug being hidden in her intestines begins leaking into her system, she develops abilities and begins to fight back. Now the science is clearly not sound... or even really based on science, which is fine. Because the idea itself is so well structured that the old statement "we only use 10% of our brain" (as false as it may be) simply works as a way of helping the audience to understand a much bigger concept. I actually think the insertion of percentages throughout the movie kept everyone in check. It was just enough of a guide map without being too annoying.

So why did I enjoy Lucy so much? It went for it! The big picture. The idea that we cannot comprehend the world around us so we oversimplify... we bring it down to our own level with simple math... it's very meta with the format of the movie as stated above. But somehow Luc Besson managed to lace this very big concept in with a bunch of really entertaining action sequences. He did so much in only an hour and a half. And by the end I really did wish the movie was longer. Which is a good thing... to want more.
Scarlett Johansson is just entertaining to watch. And she keeps picking such interesting projects. I'm really impressed with her choices over the last few years. Morgan Freeman was serviceable, but this is not one of his better performances. Still at this point he does everything you'd expect him to do in a film of this nature. I really liked Amr Waked.
There was something so fun about his reaction to the situation he was dropped into. Min-sik Choi was overbearing and ridiculous, but I have to assume that this had a lot to do with how broad stroked his character was written. He was really more just an instigator in a much dumber film that stuck around as the movie gained quality and intellect (1% to 100%). I also really dug Analeigh Tipton's very little film time. She was super perky and just the perfect energy to bring the audience back to earth... to help them remember where Lucy herself had started out.
This movie is so much fun. It breaks so many rules and goes for the big picture... and it really takes advantage of what CG can do. I gotta admit I was surprised. And I really like being surprised.

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