Lucy
Image: Universal Pictures
Scarlett Johansson in 'Lucy'
Lucy
Our Rating
1½ Stars - Weak
Average Rating
 
(13 user ratings)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
R (For strong violence, disturbing images, and sexuality.)
Directed By
Luc Besson
Run Time
1 hour 29 minutes
Cast
Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Min-sik Choi, Amr Waked
Theatre Release
July 25, 2014 by Universal Pictures

This could have been the summer of strong women at the box office. Rita (Emily Blunt) in Edge of Tomorrow kicked things off in what Entertainment Weeklycalled "the most feminist summer action flick in years"; Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning secured the title card on Maleficent; Melissa McCarthy headlined another McCarthy vehicle in Tammy; even Dwayne Johnson fought beside an Amazonian arrow-sniper in Hercules.

And Lucy could have been a female-driven sci-fi action movie, since it revolves around Scarlett Johansson, an actress who at least knows her way around a martial arts class. But it turns out Lucy, despite the promise of the trailers, is not a movie about a woman drawn into a sci-fi scenario of superhuman enhancement. It's a movie about tapping the full potential of humanism through drugs in which writer and director Luc Besson uses Johansson as a stand-in for a characterless stage in human evolution.

Of course, Lucy is not the only disappointment on this summer's—or any year's—slate of ostensibly female-driven movies. Edge of Tomorrow was a surprise because it's billed as a Tom Cruise vehicle and allows Blunt to more than hold her own. But Lucy is particularly disappointing because the trailers suggest a journey by the title character toward controlling her own circumstances, while the movie actually portrays a woman who is the puppet of external forces.

"I'm colonizing my own brain," she declares at one point, but Lucy is not actually making any choices; the drugs—or evolution, according to the heavy-handed movie logic—are clearly in control.

Besson's previous, better work includes examples of iconic action (The Transporter), sci-fi (The ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Tags:
Browse All Movie Reviews By:
Read These Next
Current IssueHow God Sent His Word to An Iraqi Interpreter
How God Sent His Word to An Iraqi Interpreter
I saw an American soldier reading his Bible, and I wanted to know more.
TrendingKay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Kay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Through God's work in our lives, we've beaten the odds that divorce would be the outcome of our ill-advised union.
Editor's PickThe Church's Biggest Challenge in 2017
The Church's Biggest Challenge in 2017
Let’s get unchurched evangelicals back into church, and prejudiced evangelicals back to the Bible.
Christianity Today
Lucy
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

July 2014

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.