Girl power from Lucy the kick-ass heroine

What happens when we unlock the whole 100% cerebral capacity of our brains?, asks Matt Adcock.

Tuesday, 26th August 2014, 9:49 am
Scarlett Johansson as Lucy.

Meet my friend Lucy (Scarlett Johansson). She’s a knockout blonde with a dodgy boyfriend and she’s about to have a very strange few days.

After falling foul of evil drug lord Mr Jang (Min Sik-Choi), young Lucy gets experimental drug CpH4 in her system and transforms into a super human where she can access her entire mind to incredible effect.

Director Luc Besson borrows liberally from some of his back catalogue to spice up the science mumbo-jumbo with heavy duty gun fights, one insane speed car chase through Paris (the likes of which haven’t been seen since Ronin) and, erm, Lucy being able to lift people off the ground with her mind, jump and stop time, plus change her appearance at will.

Sure the science is kooky, but there are some great ideas at work here – mostly exposited by Professor Norman whose life work has been the study of hypothesising what would happen if humans could unlock more than the baseline 10% of our minds that we currently get by using.

If you thought the recent Transcendence was far- fetched, maybe you won’t enjoy Lucy as it goes every bit as cuckoo in the science department, but what make this film infinitely more watchable is the fact that it’s fun and the action scenes do keep it rocking along – even if it often feels like two separate films spiced together.

In Lucy though we have a gorgeous, kick-ass heroine who is the very embodiment of ‘girl power’. Johanssen doesn’t have to do all that much in the role except pout, stare at people and shoot a few for good measure.

I saw this with a student at the London School of Theology who said there were some very good questions being asked and ideas put forward, but that overall the film didn’t quite work because it couldn’t decide whether to be a ‘thinking’ film or an ‘action’ one.

Besson however is a director who consistently delivers exciting stylish flicks and Lucy is a fun addition to his cannon of work.

Ironically, the best way to get maximum joy from watching Lucy is to go to the cinema expecting to only use 5% of your brain power and let the slick nonsense light up your pleasure receptors.