This one is a bit of an odd watch, it has a rather unclear message. It begins with what seems like an environmental message but that isn’t really a theme in the film going forward. We are shown a shot of a CGI early human drinking from a lake. A narrating Scarlett Johansson then asks us what we have done with human life. We are then shown images of what humanity have achieved, this is where I assumed this was supposed to have a message about protecting the planet; the images are of food processing factories and vast cities filled with sky scrapers.
The story that follows has the conviction of a movie with something to prove, as if the writers and directors are trying to get a point across. However, it is blurred throughout the film exactly what the point is, it seems as if it was believed that they would need some kind of message to justify the awesome CGI moments, it was almost as if the injection of meaning at the start of the film was just to give a reason to start of the story and once that happens we are just along for the ride.
This would have been fine if the message made sense and the events themselves had a clear link to it. The opinion of the film is murky throughout and rather than either going for the message wholeheartedly or just creating a fun, sci-fi fest it aimed to do both. Which didn’t really work as they tried to present a principal idea in a vague way and then wrap it up in seconds at the end. None of the events of the story seemed to play into the message in any meaningful way.
As for the events of the film themselves, they were rather fun. As soon as the bag in Lucy’s stomach is compromised and the drug within makes it into her system things escalate very quickly. The first dose, minimal as it is allows Lucy to remember everything she has ever experienced, she can even remember events when she wasn’t even one year old. Lucy’s powers increased as the amount of synthetic drug in her system did, this is because the drug allows her to access a higher percentage of her brain. The film holds the view that the ability to utilise more of the brain gives us power beyond what we can imagine. Of course on Lucy’s journey to 100% brain usage she achieves powers of telekinesis, teleportation and mind reading.
The conclusion to the movie was of course Lucy attaining 100% brain power and becoming as powerful as a God. She disappears as at this point she is too powerful to be limited by time and space, her last action on Earth is to create a super- computer which then spits out a USB. It is isn’t explicitly said what is on the flash drive however I think I can have a good guess; Morgan Freeman’s character when asked by Lucy what she should do with all her knowledge advises her to “pass it on”. This forces me to believe that all of the information in the universe is on that memory stick given that Lucy gains essentially god-like status before she disappears. However, I cannot see how this factors into the message of the film at all, it just seems to be another of the hundreds of moments in this film where Luc Besson is saying “Hey, know what would be cool?” In the closing scene they try to rather jarringly wrap up the message of the whole film, put of nowhere they hit us with the question “So what do we do with our life? Now you know.” (I may have been paraphrasing a bit there) What does that even mean? It seems it wasn’t a green message they were telling us we should devote our life to unlocking the wonders of the brain. Or is it about the quest for knowledge? Frustratingly Lucy is a film that wants to make you think, while being so basic and surface level that when you do just that you realise the film has huge problems.