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Thursday 28 August 2014

Lucy, Film written and directed by Luc Besson starring Scarlett Johansson, 6* out of 10

After a promising start Luc Besson’s Lucy, becomes an aimless and perhaps largely unintended parody of life, the universe and everything. Nevertheless, visual effects and Scarlett Johansson’s screen-presence make it very watchable.

Lucy, a street-smart young woman is being tricked by her new Scandinavian boyfriend to help him with the handover of a locked attache-case with unknown content at a 5* star hotel in Taipei. This and what follows in the next 30 minutes of this film could have been a promising and visually captivating start to an action classic.

Thereafter, while the action film part moves on, its main protagonist is under the influence of an accidentally absorbed overdose of a wonder drug that makes more and more of her brain capacity available to her - at a price. Lucy reverts physically to adapt to life in a state of nature as defined by the 17th century philosopher Thomas Hobbes: “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short”. Mentally she reaches incredible heights of academic performance while emotionally turning into a parody of Arnold Schwarzenegger's classic "Terminator" without the cute Austrian accent and the muscled man-boobs.

Meanwhile, the film script loses itself in pseudo-scientific eccentricities and pseudo-philosophical speculations intended to give meaning to the impressive visual effects and Lucy’s 24-hour Odyssey. 

Nevertheless, what makes this movie still fun and quite watchable is Johansson’s screen presence and the visual effects linking the development of her character's brainpower to a short history of the world from Big Bang to our dissolution into disembodied ubiquity by means of a mobile phone and a USB-stick.

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