Thursday, 29 September 2016

Lucy (2014)

So this movie is basically what you get when Luc Besson decides to re-make 2001, right?  I mean sure, it's only half as long.  And it ditches all that travelling through space stuff and the symphonic score and any semblance of scientific basis, and replaces it with gun play and car chases and international drug cartels.  But at the end of the day it's a film that's all about evolution, existentialism and the meaning of life.

So to address the elephant in the room: yes, the film's story relies heavily on the spurious "humans only use ten percent of their brains" nonsense.  Personally, I have no issue with this.  I can accept zombies, magic, and time travel.  So I can accept that in the world in which Lucy is set, human beings really do use only 10% of their brains.

The eponymous Lucy is a young woman with unfortunate taste in boyfriends.  Her new squeeze inveigles her into delivering a package for him, and as a consequence she finds herself press-ganged by gangsters into acting as a drugs mule.  A kilo of a strange blue powder is surgically implanted in her intestine.

With little other choice in the matter, Lucy goes along with the mobsters.  But an altercation leads to the drug bag splitting inside her.  The massive dose of this narcotic boosts her cerebral activity, allowing her to access for 20% of her brain, then 30%, and so on.  As the percentage increases, Lucy begins to manifest more and more exotic powers.  On the other hand, she also realises that her body is rapidly breaking down from the strain.  She has 24 hours to achieve something with her new abilities ... and at the same time she's got to deal with the drug runners who have no intention of letting go of their merchandise.

This isn't the movie I expected when I went into it, but I'm glad I watched it.  I don't know that I'd say it offers a particularly deep assessment of its themes, but it's definitely refreshing to see someone tackle these themes in a film that isn't three hours long and full of its own importance.

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