Film Review: Lucy

10 August 2023
"Lucy," directed and written by Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, Valerian) delves into the concept of unlocking human potential through a blend of science fiction and action. The film centers around Lucy, played by Scarlett Johansson (Avengers, The Prestige), who gains extraordinary cognitive abilities after unintentionally ingesting a powerful synthetic drug. Set against a backdrop of existential and philosophical questions, "Lucy" raises intriguing possibilities about the capabilities of the human mind.

The film opens with Lucy, an American student living in Taipei, being forced into becoming a drug mule for a dangerous synthetic substance. When the package containing the drug ruptures inside her, Lucy's brain starts accessing previously untapped portions, granting her superhuman abilities such as telekinesis, time perception manipulation, and rapid knowledge acquisition.

As her cognitive powers increase, Lucy teams up with Professor Norman, played by Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption, Oblivian), to understand and harness her newfound abilities. Meanwhile, she crosses paths with Mr. Jang, a ruthless mob boss, setting the stage for a high-stakes conflict.

lucy film poster

"Lucy" is visually captivating, employing striking imagery to convey the evolution of Lucy's mind. Cinematography utilizes vivid colors and contrasting visuals to symbolize her expanding cognitive horizons. The film's imaginative representation of Lucy's increasing powers through visuals, like electromagnetic pulses and fractal patterns, enhances the narrative's metaphysical undertones.

Scarlett Johansson delivers a commendable performance as Lucy, transitioning from vulnerability to empowered intelligence convincingly. Morgan Freeman brings gravitas to the role of Professor Norman, but his character's limited screen time leaves room for deeper exploration. Min-sik Choi's portrayal of Mr. Jang is menacing and chilling, contributing to the tension and suspense of the film.

Besson explores the themes of human potential and evolution through Lucy's journey, intertwining her personal growth with philosophical questions about the nature of existence. Besson's storytelling skillfully balances the cerebral with the action-packed, creating an engaging narrative that keeps the audience invested. The pacing is generally well-maintained, though there are moments where exposition-heavy dialogue slows down the momentum.

"Lucy" delves into themes of consciousness, evolution, and the limits of human understanding. The film raises questions about the consequences of unlocking the full potential of the human brain, inviting audiences to ponder the ethical implications of such advancements. It also prompts reflection on the interconnectedness of all life forms and the pursuit of knowledge as a fundamental human trait.

The film's score, composed by Éric Serra, complements the narrative's emotional beats. The music's intensity amplifies during action sequences and climactic moments, contributing to the overall suspense and excitement. Sound design enhances the presentation of Lucy's cognitive abilities, utilizing auditory cues to convey her altered perception of reality.

"Lucy" shines in its conceptual exploration of human potential, utilizing science fiction as a medium to ponder existential questions. Scarlett Johansson's performance and the film's visual representation of Lucy's transformation are standout elements that contribute to its appeal. The incorporation of philosophical themes enriches the viewing experience.

The film's pacing occasionally falters due to heavy exposition, which can disrupt the immersion. Some character arcs remain underdeveloped, leaving potential for deeper emotional connections untapped. Additionally, the film's scientific explanations may stretch the boundaries of plausibility, requiring audiences to suspend disbelief.

"Lucy" is a visually captivating and thought-provoking film that pushes the boundaries of human potential within the realms of science fiction. While it grapples with intriguing philosophical themes and offers an engaging narrative, some pacing issues and underdeveloped character arcs prevent it from reaching its full potential.

Recommended for viewers interested in speculative science fiction, mind-bending concepts, and philosophical musings on human existence.

"Lucy" serves as a visually intriguing exploration of human evolution and cognition. While the film's strengths lie in its conceptual depth and Scarlett Johansson's performance, it is not without its flaws. As you embark on this cinematic journey, be prepared to embrace both the awe-inspiring visuals and the philosophical questions the film presents. Whether you're drawn by the scientific possibilities or the metaphysical ponderings, "Lucy" is likely to leave you contemplating the untapped potential of the human mind.


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

At The Astromech, you can expect to find a variety of articles, reviews, and analysis related to science fiction, including books, movies, TV, and games.
From exploring the latest news and theories to discussing the classics, I aim to provide entertaining and informative content for all fans of the genre.

Whether you are a die-hard Star Trek fan or simply curious about the world of science fiction, The Astromech has something for everyone. So, sit back, relax, and join me on this journey through the stars!
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