HTS Moderator , Reviewer
HTS Overall Score:82
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.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=36937[/img]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 swearing 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
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=36945[/img]“Lucy” comes to home video with an absolutely luscious looking transfer. Filmed digitally and with Luc Besson’s famous attention to color detail the movie just pops at every turn and is 100% demo material. The colors are richly saturated and used in just about every scene of the film, giving it an almost surreal feeling. Skin tones are natural and balanced with the contrast looking about as good as it can look. Facial details and the exquisite detailing on clothing and objects will blow your mind even more than the movie tries to, with every line, every hair, every fiber looking picture perfect. The animal kingdom/nature documentary scenes look incredible and the sequence where Lucy goes through her hallucinogenic introduction to the drug is so vividly real that it feel three dimensional even in a 2D presentation. Black levels maintain a reference level of inkiness with no shadow detail lost at all in the process. Basically a perfect 5/5 out the picture scale.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=36953[/img]Universal’s 5.1 DTS-HD MA track is almost as reference as the video is, with an aggressive track that does an excellent job at immersing the viewer into the strange world that Lucy finds herself in. Aggressive from the get go, the opening score pounds you with some heavy duty LFE and keeps that intensity up throughout the film with some awesome chest pounding effects. The guns sound impressive and the score throbs throughout, giving the track an intense and kinetic feel to it. Since the movie isn’t wall to wall action like the trailer made it out to be, the surrounds are 100% active, but they are VERY well used when they are in action. The directionality is excellent as the soundstage constantly shifts in a psychedelic manner, much like how Lucy is transforming and shifting all over the screen. The auditory details heard through all 5 main channels is exquisite, with the sounds of bullet casings hitting the floor, a surgical instrument clattering 2-3 times before finally coming to rest and the soft sound of a door clicking into place are all downright eerily perfect. The dialogue is exceptional, never unbalanced from the rest of the track and firmly locked up front in the center channel.
• The Evolution of "Lucy"
• Cerebral Capacity: The True Science of "Lucy"
“Lucy” is nothing like the trailer, and even going into the movie with that knowledge, I’m not sure what to feel about the movie. It is visually incredible and is just covered with the fingerprints of its creator. However, I’m not sure whether I ended up liking or disliking the film. It’s a striking movie with some incredible visuals, but the story borders on being surreal for the sake of being surreal. Especially when you take into consideration the fact that the PREMISE of the movie is completely debunked decades ago. It has some typical Besson action sequences, but the majority of the film dabbles in pseudo-science, using visual representations to try and get the plot (or what’s left of it) across to the viewer. The end result is kind of cool, kind of whacky and kind of confusing, all at once. I’d recommend watching it for yourself as this is something that is definitely polarizing. Some will enjoy the psychedelic sci-fi adventure and others will be left wanting something more substantial to sink their teeth into. Give it a watch
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Min-Sik Choi
Directed By: Luc Besson
Written By: Luc Besson
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 AVC
Audio: ENGLISH: DTS-HD MA 5.1, French (Canada), Spanish DTS 5.1
Runtime: 89 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: January 20th 2015
Buy Lucy On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Check it out
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