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Title: Lucy

Movie: :3stars:
Video: :5stars:
Audio: :5stars:
Extras: :1.5stars:

HTS Overall Score:85

The biggest thing that you need to know about “Lucy” before watching it is that the trailer is to be completely disregarded, as it bears almost no resemblance to what’s actually in the film. The trailer released for theaters made “Lucy” into an action movie with some science fiction elements woven into the mix. In reality the movie has about 10 minutes worth of action (maybe a little bit more, but who’s counting), with the rest being a psychedelic and surreal science fiction story based upon the theory that humans only use 10% of their brains. I went in with that knowledge and still came out with my mind partially blown at how different the trailer and the final product ended up being, and not always in a good way (and yet not always in a bad way).

Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) is an innocent girl in China. Tricked into delivering a package for her deadbeat boyfriend she ends up on an adventure that will change not only her life, but everyone else’s around her. In her experience as an impromptu courier, Lucy is forced to become a drug mule for a vicious mob boss by the name of Mr. Jang (Min-sik Choi) and becomes one of four people transporting an experimental synthetic drug. During the deliver she gets kicked in the stomach and ruptures the seal on the package, flooding her cells with this drug. Code named CPH4, the drug is actually a synthetic of a compound that pregnant mothers have in their system, albeit in extremely tiny amounts. Said drug is basically the “big bang” of birth, imparting the growth of cells and tissue, giving the fetus its kick start into life. With an enormous quantity coursing through her system, Lucy starts to change and adapt, her brain opening up and using more than the “10%” that we supposedly only use according to the movie. As she opens up more of her brain, she starts to gain powers. Now she can move extremely fast, learn languages in an instant and gain incredible fine tuning over her body. As the film progresses the drug opens up more and more of her brain, allowing her access to powers that border on godlike.

Being almost a goddess, Lucy starts to lose her humanity, her ability to empathize and feel is drastically changed as her newfound powers separate her from the people around her. Starting out on what seems a revenge quest to destroy the men who did this to her, we find out that she has ulterior motives. Influenced by Professor Norman, a scientist whose theory on the human’s ability to use more of their brain than previously thought possible is at the forefront of Luc Besson’s pen, Lucy evolves and does what all cells do. Reproduce, and impart knowledge to the next generation. The only problem is that Mr. Jang is REALLY wanting his drugs back and it becomes a race against time. Can Lucy evolve into something more, or will Mr. Jang finish what he started those 24 hours earlier.

The theory of us using only a small portion of our brain has been an urban legend / myth for many many years, based on a misconception that parts of our brains lie dormant. In reality the brain is extremely complex and is constantly using “zones” of our cerebral tissue, and while 100% of our brain isn’t active AT ONE SINGLE moment in time, it is still utilized in ways that we can’t even begin to possibly imagine. This myth is intriguing to us as humans, because it gives us the opportunity, so to speak, to imagine what life would be like if we used 100% of this incredible organic computer we call a brain. The movie “Limitless” dabbled with the same idea, using the imaginary drug NZT as a catalyst for humans to become superhuman as they unlock the powers of their brain. In that case it was a much more straight forward thriller/action movie, but in the case of “Lucy” it’s much more surreal and psychedelic. Luc Besson is known for a very unique visual style in his science fiction movies, and it’s no different here. The incredible use of bright and almost neon colors create a visually striking picture that can’t help but amaze the picture quality buffs. However, with all this visual style, Besson struggles with keeping a coherent plot, trying his hardest to let the visuals tell the story for him. That’s all well and good, and actually works for part of the film, but Besson can’t help but try to incorporate his frenetic style of action into the product as well. Which is, of course, where the trailer comes in and pushes all the action of the movie into that 2 minute clip. The end result feels a bit disjointed as the movie tries to get across some incredibly deep and spiritual “meaning of life message”, and then the next moment have Lucy involved in a firefight between Korean gangsters and French Police. Its’ a bit jarring and sometimes feels just a bit too weird, even for Besson. Still, the visual storytelling, especially by using nature documentary footage to show visual parallels between peoples actions, is incredibly captivating and in my opinion certainly warrants a viewing just on that alone. Interestingly enough the movie is rated R, but this has to be the SOFTEST rated R movie I've ever seen, as I couldn't find anything that would push it into that territory. No nudity, almost nonexistent knowing and the violence was lighter than most PG-13 action movies I've seen, so I'm not sure why it got the rating it did.


Rated R for strong violence, disturbing images, and sexuality

Video :5stars:
“Lucy” is one of three titles released by Universal Studios on 4K, and manages to be one of THE most stunning 4K discs I’ve ever seen. “Lucy” is also one of the lucky discs that was manufactured using a 4K DI and looks JAW DROPPING as a result. The moment the film starts up I knew we were in for a treat, as the opening shots of apes evolving look absolutely incredibly detailed, with razor sharp clarity across the board. The film is very colorful, almost like a cornucopia of colors in a psychedelic blend that is both mesmerizing and almost confusing at the same time. Black levels are inky deep and show off even better details than the Blu-ray did. In fact, across the board there is a fairly significant increase in noticeable quality and fine detail, making this the best 4K Blu-ray besides maybe the “Star Trek” 4K discs. Awesome AWESOME looking release.

Audio :5stars:
Like “Oblivion”, “Lucy” didn’t get an Atmos release on the Blu-ray, but has been given a kick in the pants and comes with a very impressive sounding Atmos encode to enjoy. The added overhead support is used heavily, with all sorts of ambient noises and directional queues taking advantage of the enhanced technical features of object based mixing. Little pings and dings, and bullets shift directions at will, and the use of the score flows from all angles, making this one of the best audio discs I’ve head in quite a while. The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track on the Blu-ray was no slouch, but there was a lot of work in enhancing and enveloping the listener with this new mix. Sometimes I felt that the overheads and surrounds were mixed a BIT hot, but the movie is a bit of an odd experiment to begin with, so the addition of this aggressive surround and height usage plays well to the film’s strengths. Clarity of vocals is still top notch, and the entire audio experience just flows naturally and organically across the sound stage.

Extras :1.5stars:

• The Evolution of "Lucy"
• Cerebral Capacity: The True Science of "Lucy"

Overall: :4stars:

Universal is one of the last of the major studios to release onto the 4K format, but they chose a couple of titles that really show off the strengths of the format (unlike a few of the Fox and Lionsgate titles that seemed to not impress as much as they should have). “Lucy” is an odd film, and one that is really best seen without any expectations, as the trailer doesn’t really do the movie justice. Still it’s a fun little watch and the inclusion of reference level audio and video just makes this package even sweeter. Recommended for a good watch. Definitely check it out.

Additional Information:

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Min-Sik Choi
Directed By: Luc Besson
Written By: Luc Besson
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 AVC
Audio: English: Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Core, French (Canada), Spanish DD 5.1
Studio: Universal
Rated: R
Runtime: 89 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: August 9th 2016

Buy Lucy On Blu-ray at Amazon
Buy Lucy On 4K UltraHD Blu-ray at Amazon

Recommendation: Check it out

More about Mike

Premium Member
4,363 Posts
Thanks for the review Mike. I was blown away by both the audio and video presentation of Lucy. It was a noticeable difference from the regular 1080 Blu-Ray. As you said there's some real reference material here. Keep those 4K reviews coming and thanks again.
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