|*Warning: This review does contain spoiler details*|
Nearly seven months after the film was turned loose in theaters in late July of 2014, I decided to enjoy this movie for the first time from the comfort of my home once it came out on DVD. However, a comfortable and relaxing experience was far from what I was in store for. This movie was action packed, gripping and left me pondering some rather deep, thought provoking notions long after the credits had finished rolling. Written and Directed by Luc Besson, producer, director and screenwriter, the concepts and themes portrayed in this film are sure to excite, thrill and stimulate the greater parts of our mind—literally.
I have been a fan of both Morgan Freeman and Scarlett Johansson for years, so the opportunity to see the two of them collaborate in a new, cutting edge, gritty and action packed film feature was a treat. Johansson plays a seemingly average woman named Lucy who falls prey to a dangerous and unpredictable drug deal gone wrong, and as a result is forced to be a packing mule where a mysteriously powerful synthetic of the drug CPH4 is implanted into her abdomen.
After a vicious beating, the implant bursts and Lucy is suddenly imbued with the true powers of the substance, essentially giving her extreme psychokinetic abilities, which only heightens as it absorbs deeper into her bloodstream. Alternately, Morgan Freeman plays the sharp professor, Dr. Norman, who has dedicated the majority of his professional career to the extensive research of quantum physics, applied mathematics, the human condition and the theories of utilizing higher brain capacities. We follow both characters simultaneously until their point of contact.
What follows thereafter is an onslaught of bloody gun fights, high-speed car chases, visually striking supernatural abilities and surges of high octane special effects, as the drug lords race to take back the goods Lucy has now decided to acquire for herself. As she consumes more of the drug, her brain capacity increases—rapidly racing toward her ultimate goal of reaching 100% brain power. Upon achieving her goal, Lucy is thrust into a strange monochrome-like space where she morphs through time itself back to the point of evolution itself, not only of the human race as it were, but the universe itself.
Right off the bat, we see an emphasis on human nature and the tendency toward ignorant violence which is collectively tied to the violent tendencies found in nature. A man is murdered before Lucy’s eyes, the wildlife predator makes the kill spring. As Lucy is dragged to the drug lord’s Royal Suite, we see the fear and extent of her humanity in the form of raw, ragged emotion. Later, as the drug infiltrates Lucy’s system, the changes in her are clear. At one point, she states that she no longer feels pain or desire or fear. These emotions are among the main psychological traits of humanity, of which must be sacrificed in exchange for the vast amount of universal knowledge and enhanced psyche Lucy has gained from the drug. I found this to be eloquently yet darkly portrayed.
The God Complex
The idea of utilizing more than the average belief of 10% of our brain is an intriguing one, and many a fantastical myths, hardcore hypotheses and heavy-handed theories had been drawn from this very notion. However, the story goes entirely beyond this idea, with Lucy reaching 100% capacity by the end of the film. Some have criticized the plot as becoming nonsensical by the close of the film, and I too was sadly disappointed at the indication presented with Lucy’s final “assent” to 100%. Lucy’s mental and emotional transformations were interesting, but even I found her physical transformation to be a bit over the top.
For example, once she reached full capacity, she was able to scroll through time and space, with the ability to literally “pause” and “rewind” the passage of time as though she were operating humankind on some sort of universal DVR. Furthermore, after completely abandoning her body, effectively disappearing from the physical plane, she sends the French detective a message stating: “I am Everywhere.” To me, these elements point to the unspoken idea that Lucy had transcended into a God-like state as if she were God herself.
Regardless of the themes and elements found in this movie, I highly recommend it and found it to be extremely entertaining and worth the watch.