Lucy, an innocent woman, gains superhuman abilities overnight as her bloodstream absorbs powerful experimental substances, unlocking the full potential of her brain and body
Whether in La Femme Nikita, The Professional, The Fifth Element or a slew of other action-thriller films, writer-director-producer Luc Besson has created some of the toughest, most memorable female action heroes in cinematic history.
Lucy is a sci-fi action-thriller that examines the possibility of what one human being could truly do if she unlocked 100 percent of her brain capacity. The human brain has deeply fascinated even the most accomplished scientists and it has long been hypothesized that human beings use only a small percentage of our cerebral capacity at any given time.
Lucy both depicts the wonder and the danger of what could happen if our full mental potential were to be released.
The Unlikely Heroine
Lucy, aptly portrayed by Scarlett Johansson (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), is a carefree young woman who was forced to transport a powerful substance via surgical implantation inside of her belly. However, when the drug packet breaks open and the chemical is absorbed by her body, the unimaginable happens: her brain capacity is unlocked to startling levels.
Lucy begins to feel everything around her — space, air, people — and to develop new abilities, including telekinesis and mind-reading, among other superpowers that defy our understanding of human physiology.
To Johansson, the biggest challenge was to portray Lucy as a truly relatable character despite the psychological and physical changes that she’s experiencing.
“As the drug kicks in, Lucy gradually loses the ability to empathize and to feel pain,” explained Johansson.
Johansson delivers an intriguing performance. Look out for the emotional scene where she talks to her mom on the phone about how she remembers the “thousand kisses”, and “taste of her milk” and everything since she was born.
Besson walks the fine line between theoretical reality and imagination. Although he was keen to make tremendous action-thriller material, he was also intent on grounding part of Lucy in scientific fact. He reached out to a number of scientists, including world-renowned neurologist Yves Agid.
Said Agid, “That’s what I find splendid in the film: There are true facts. When you see it, you believe it.”
While some may find the story of Lucy dynamic and interesting, others may find that the bizarre concepts are too far-fetched. Lucy develops the incredible abilities of controlling of others’ minds, bending the laws of physics, rewinding time, all under the influence of a man-made drug.
Nonetheless, with the film’s surreal special effects and pulsating action, we’d say this exaggeration is a small matter. Furthermore,
the visual effects in the film are so ethereal that you’d be awestruck. One and a half hours of this action-packed sci-fi thriller is hardly enough.
DIRECTORS: Luc Besson
STARRING: Scarlett Johansson & Morgan Freeman
GENRE: Sci-Fi, Action, Thriller
RUN LENGTH: 89 min
RELEASE: 21 Aug