Ricky's Film Reviews

Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases

Lucy

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Lucy is a young woman who gets tricked into becoming a drug mule for a dangerous mob leader, but with incredible consequences. Because when the synthetic drug pouch she is smuggling accidentally bursts inside her, it rages through her system and transforms her into something else..

Humans only access 10% of their brains.
Lucy is suddenly able to access 100% of hers.
She isn’t about to become the most powerful being in the universe – she is about to become the universe…

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Cast

Scarlett Johansson – Lucy

Morgan Freeman – Professor Norman

Choi Min-sik – Mr. Jang

Amr Waked – Pierre Del Rio

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Well Done, Scarlett

I have to point out firstly that Scarlett does fantastically in this movie. The woman is a natural, is she not? We’ve had quite a generous dose of Ms. Johansson this year, Under The Skin being her most deliciously surreal performance yet. But then along came Lucy – a gripping, thought-provoking feature in which the 30-year-old actress displays sheer talent and deep acting skill. She had me hooked from the beginning with her distraught emotions when coming face to face with a murderous drug lord. The bobbing of her head, wide-eyed stares, believable crying, all contributed to the success of her performance in this movie – some excellent emotion displayed.

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Say what you want about the plot of this movie, but you cannot fault Scarlett. I actually wondered at one point where she studied acting; she has an air of ‘drama school’ about her, shown in scenes where she uses great physical technique / body language. The woman delivers some wonderfully funny one-liner’s and facial expressions too.
I don’t consider myself to be a fan or follower of Scarlett – my non bias opinions of her come naturally from what I see on screen.

LUCY

‘Kicking In’

The basic story is that Lucy is dating a man who works as a drug mule – but gets roped into delivering a mysterious metal briefcase by him when he handcuffs her to it. Reluctantly, she enters the building of a dangerous drug lord, and a confrontation takes place in which she is knocked out then wakes up to discover a bleeding bandage wrapped around her waist. She is the victim of drug trafficking – a packet of substance sewn into her abdomen, so that she (and a handful of other randomly chosen victims) can transport the drug for sales in Europe. However when in a waiting room of captivity, one of her captors is provoked to beat her up, kicking Lucy dangerously in the stomach.

..and inadvertantly breaking her skin, splitting the bag and releasing the smuggled drug into her system. With this kicking-in, comes a powerful drug starting to kick in. And the results are incredible

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This scene had me hooked. Watching Lucy float into the air, up the wall, across the ceiling – it wasn’t the best of special effects I’ve ever seen, but the concept won me over. This part reminded me a little of that scene in the first Nightmare On Elm Street movie, where teenager Tina gets dragged across the ceiling by Freddy Krueger. Random, but similar. This scene is probably the most relevant and happens quite quickly, so keep your eyes peeled – don’t miss a second of it!

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CPH4

The mysterious bright blue drug that surges its way through Lucy’s system is labelled ‘CPH4‘. And by god, does it radiate some phenomenal side effects. And some reverse effects..

During one scene Lucy boards a flight to Paris in order to track down the remaining three packets of thr drug. But when a flight attendant hands her a flute of Champagne, trouble starts. One sip, and her cells begin to destabilize – the alcohol makes her body inhospitable for cellular reproduction. And she begins to disintegrate. This scene was fucking fantastic, and had me relishing every second. The use of CGI here was faultless, fascinating. Lucy rushes into the aircraft cabin toilet, slams the door, and starts to melt. The graphics here boasted such clarity; her body appeared to be flaking into a sand-like substance and as it did, I felt myself smiling – each grain of body falling away and dispersing into the air was crystal clear, moving with great fluidity. I would go as far as to say the effects here were beautiful. But this is all before her face starts to melt..

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God I love randomly-named chemicals that make people melt. Like that TV show many years ago, The Secret World Of Alex Mack. A geeky school girl gets doused by GC-161, an experimental chemical that inadvertantly graces her with the ability to ‘morph’ into liquid and shoot electricity from her fingertips. Fascinating stuff, I bloody loved it.
This was the similar reaction I had when watching Lucy – weird chemical, incredible results. A sort of, “it wasn’t her fault, it was an accident” type thing.

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Incredible  

**CONTAINS SPOILERS**

The things Lucy can accomplish by the time her brain reaches 70% are absolutely amazing. Telepathy, telekinesis, the ability to shut off pain, and time travel – and these are just a few. As the movie continues, percentages flash up on screen at momentary intervals; 20%
…50%
..80%
And by the time Lucy hits 100% she becomes a being of total splendour. I actually felt a little envious as I sat watching this human develop into the stuff of dreams – which quickly turned into a longing deep down within me, because what she did towards the end of the movie had me completely transfixed. Eyes glued to the screen. I hardly moved..

Lucy visits Professor Norman (Freeman) at his laboratory, to discuss how time and life really work as she has now discovered the answer to life itself, and persuades him and his lab colleagues to inject her with the remaining three pouches of CPH4. She is sat in a leather chair, hooked up to three seperate drips, and the bright blue solution begins sloshing its way through the tubes. Lucy starts to transform into a throbbing shiny black substance which squelches its way across the lab, absorbing computers and other pieces of technology – which then become a beautifully constructed supercomputer that holds all of her invaluable knowledge of the universe. She then begins a spacetime journey into the past, which I lapped up.

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She starts off sitting in her chair in the middle of New York City, busy people rushing by her. She raises her hand, freezing them in time. Then slides them all to the left, wiping them from history. But then she wipes time itself across the screen; a re-wind of time sparks into action which sends Lucy to various places.

– New York suddenly becomes vintage; horse & cart, people in top hats, etc.

– New York fades and becomes a vast, grassy area where she is suddenly faced by confused Red Indians who sit on horseback staring at her strangely.

– The Indians become ancient ruins

– The ruins become vegetation with pterodactyls flying overhead – and an angry looking dinosaur suddenly charges toward her (not the first male who wanted a bit of Scarlett I’m sure)

– She whizzes back further to land

– nothing

– water and grass

– suddenly a monkey-type creature sits facing her. The oldest discovered ancestor of mankind. Lucy and the creature reach out and their fingers touch..

BANG

– land

– the first leaf

– land forming

– a roundish piece of rock which moulds together and grows into a massive planet (Earth), flaming with fire and blackened chunks of material which then part to form continents

– gas and matter bubbling & churning

– floating rock

– mist

– stars forming

– beautiful rainbow-coloured galaxy..

I was biting my fingernails, smiling.
“come on, come on”, I thought silently, “show us what there was before the world was created. What was it? Show us what was before the universe!”

– more mist

– white space

– ribbons of shiny liquid rippling like jets of black ink, spouting in various directions

– darkness.

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Incredible. Absolutely incredible. Throughout this entire scene I felt a yearning in my gut – a longing. As if I had discovered the gates of Heaven itself and was desperate to see beyond, wanting to feed on the splendour of undiscovered knowledge and answers to age-old questions. I’ve always been fascinated by the whole space-time concept, how we came to be. What was there at the beginning of creation?
If there was nothing – didn’t there have to be something to be nothing?..

This movie delved into this exact mystery, but stopped before it got too deep which left me reeling, longing for more. It therefore gets top marks for this element.

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What Went Wrong

Where the special effects were fantastic in certain scenes, they slacked in others. One example is the scene where Lucy enters a building to face a the drug lord and his mob. Lucy floats the men to the ceiling and leaves them suspended in the air – and it looked awful. Seriously, watching the special effects of wriggling men on the ceiling was as if Lucy had transported me back to 1992 and I was watching one of those children’s television programmes whereby the ‘magical’ going’s-on constitued fantastically awful effects / animation, that were obviously fake. I cringed during this scene. Not good.

Another gripe would be the director’s scatty use of clips of ‘life’ – I.E. at the point where Professor Norman was discussing reproduction and the formation of our existance, the camera kept cutting away to scenes of animals trotting through fields, humans having sex, etc. It got annoying in the end because it happened so much. I understand the director thought it creative, but it started to hinder the flow of the movie itself.

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Lucy was fantastic.
If there is anyone out there who thinks otherwise, and exited the cinema muttering about how bad it was, then I can only assume that person is scared – scared of delving into history and discovering how we began. They probably wish to remain blissfully ignorant, continuing to plod through their daily routine not caring about how life was created.
If there was anyone out there who exited the cinema muttering how great the movie was, then they not only have a wonderfully open mind, but have good taste too.

Before I went to watch this, I thought “it’s another Limitless” – and expected a total rip-off of the Bradley Cooper hit.
It was better. Much better.
Imagine the actual movie Limitless had been given one of its pills – a taste of its own medicine, so to speak – and you have Lucy. Forget Limitless, because what you see in that movie is vamped 100% to produce a feature pulsating with a simple but good story, amazing special effects and doors of ancient questions opened. Scarlett delivers a deliciously slick performance as the lead role, giving the audience  a taste of heartfelt emotion and tears, which quickly ignite into some great dry humour as Lucy develops. Her acting is faultless, her style sexy. And once the actress fired all her energy at the audience during the ‘super power’ scenes, I was won over immediately.

This movie is one of those rare gems you discover which poses questions you have also wondered about – and given the final scene, splinters the barrier to go one step further.
..but still leaves you wondering.
If you’re lucky enough to see this brilliant but very random movie, enjoy and embrace every second.

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This entry was posted on August 31, 2014 by .
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