Film Review – Lucy

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Luc Besson’s Lucy is a daft, preposterous but enjoyable ninety minutes of genre fun. By default, it’s also a bit anti-Christian, but more on that later.

Scarlett Johansson is entertaining in a Milla Jovovich kind of way, playing the eponymous and imperilled Lucy, who gets caught up in a drug mule operation in Hong Kong that goes badly wrong when the new experimental drug inside her ruptures. Suddenly she is able to use previously untapped areas of her brain, leading to all manner of exciting and bizarre shenanigans across Hong Kong and later Paris.

It’s utterly, utterly silly, but the action is slick and enjoyable. There are one or two good supporting parts in the script (such as the notable presence of Morgan Freeman, playing a similar role to one he had in the similarly themed Transcendence). Luc Besson hasn’t made a film this outrageously entertaining since The Fifth Element, although his best work (Nikita, The Big Blue, Leon) seems to now belong to a dim and distant past. Certain elements of the direction feel heavy handed, such as the obvious animal symbolism intercut with the main action during the opening, but given that the film culminates in a bold, outrageous how-the-heck-did-the-studio-approve-that-ending finale, taken as a big, barmy whole the film works.

It is therefore slightly disappointing to note that whilst Lucy isn’t directly attacking Christianity per se, it definitely contains a default anti-Christian undercurrent. Lucy implies that unlocking the brain’s full potential will lead us on the path to essentially becoming gods. From a Christian perspective, it could be argued that the Fall of Man led to the human race losing the ability to use their full brain capacity, and that such abilities will one day be restored. However, within the secular humanist framework of Lucy, the implication is that we can achieve this without any involvement from God, and indeed without the human race needing to be redeemed at all.

Of course, given how ludicrous the film is, I doubt anyone will be pondering deep theological matters after viewing it, other than perhaps people like me.

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