"We've codified our existence to bring it down to human size, to make it comprehensible, we've created a scale so we can forget its unfathomable scale."
I've always been a fan of Luc Besson's work so I was expecting great things from Lucy considering I had read several positive reviews, but personally I was disappointed. And I'm not trashing this film simply because the assumption that humans only use 10% of their brain is erroneous; that wasn't an issue I had here. I just found it hard to engage with the character of Lucy, the philosophical themes explored here were silly, and the entire premise simply bored me. There were some similarities between this film and Johnny Depp's Transcendence where despite some solid visual styles the philosophical themes hurt the overall narrative. Scarlett Johansson delivers another solid performance, but her character really didn't work for me as well as former Besson leading ladies such as Milla Jovovich in The Fifth Element and Natalie Portman in Leon. Perhaps it was all the philosophical and scientific mumbling that ended up hurting the narrative story for me. However I do have to give Besson credit for trying something different and taking risks because the film goes to unexpected places at times. I do feel that comparisons with 2001 are unfair. Some of the CGI didn't really work for me either, especially the one with the neanderthal during the opening scene. Besson also experimented with the use of imagery that seemed to be taken from a National Geographic channel which overlapped with the narrative serving as an analogy, but those scenes felt forced and they also took me out of the film. This sci-fi film might have taken several steps to stand out from other formulaic movies by not following the standard structure of a genre film, but the result didn't really pay off. I felt as if Lucy was trying to be this sort of profound philosophical film, but it turned out to be fairly silly and incomprehensible. Perhaps it may be that I use less than 10% of my brain and therefor just didn't get it, but for my limited brain capacity Lucy wasn't worth my time or money.
Scarlett Johansson has taken several risks in the past year delivering some very solid roles in films like Her, Under the Skin, and now Lucy. The risks seem to have payed off considering she is catching the attention of talented directors and I'm glad she isn't going for the easy roles in rom-coms or standard action flicks. Despite enjoying her performance, this film lost me halfway through it. I enjoyed the supporting cast as well. It was great to see Choi Min-sik (better known for his role in Oldboy) play the villain here although I wish he would have been given more screen time. Perhaps my favorite performance was that of Amr Waked who played the officer helping Lucy (or should I say simply riding along with her?). Besson switched the genre roles here as usually it is the other way around, where the male character is the one doing all the work and the female only riding along. Morgan Freeman might just be the weakest link in this film as he is the one responsible for all the scientific and philosophical blabbing going on (my least favorite thing about Lucy). For a film that tries to take itself seriously with profound themes about wasted human potential, there are way too many flaws involved. I understand that most of these flaws were needed as an excuse to introduce some of the action scenes which this film would have suffered without. There are some fun scenes like a car chase across Paris, but there isn't much more to this whacky film. For all the scientific rambling there is very little substance to Lucy despite its ambitions.