Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) and Professor Norman (Morgan Freeman) try to fathom the full use of the human mind.

Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) and Professor Norman (Morgan Freeman) try to fathom the full use of the human mind.

Reel Reviews: Move over Nikita, here comes Lucy

Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson, is a bit of a mind trip.

  • Aug. 3, 2014 6:00 p.m.

Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) is an unwilling drug mule. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time and now she is supposed to fly home with plastic bags containing a new synthetic drug hidden in her stomach.

When one of those bags opens and its contents spill into her blood stream, rather than dying, Lucy slowly develops the ability to use 100 per cent of her brain’s capacity.

Seeking the help of Professor Norman, (Morgan Freeman), famous for his study of human intelligence, Lucy is able share the wealth of her knowledge, although we may not understand it yet.

We say, “It’s a bit of mind trip.”

TAYLOR: I’m really hoping that Mr. Howe hates this movie, because I think I loved it. Lucy might be a love/hate kind of film. Yeah, it’s a bit of a silly premise, especially if one considers actual science. Lucy is also heavily reliant on its premise. Not a lot happens in the film, if you consider the plot point by point: She gets away from the bad guys, they look for her, they find each other and chase each other, etc.

What I liked about this film is precisely what others hated, bravado. It’s the same thing that makes Lucy better than Limitless, a very similar 2011 movie where Bradley Cooper takes a drug that gives him the same brain power. Lucy is an artful, strange and fun film.

HOWE: I think hate is too strong of a word here, Mr. Taylor. I just found it a little bland.

For a movie like this you can’t squeeze it into one hour, 30 minutes. I know we’ve complained in the past about movies going on a bit, but with Lucy it would have helped to have been longer. There’s too much information that could have been added to get a really good result out of something like this, but I feel they spent more money and time on the special effects than the story itself. I’m surprised they didn’t make it in 3D to cash in a little more.

TAYLOR: I do agree with you that there should have been more. I didn’t want it to end. I wanted Lucy’s powers to continue to grow, or at least for her to keep postulating on unanswerable questions.

I think your reference to the blandness in the film is caused by a marked disinterest in the metaphysical and that is fair. The film veils its philosophy in metaphor, but other films like this don’t even attempt revelation.

In Limitless, Bradley Cooper becomes a stock broker: booooring. Lucy’s transformation and the results of it are the real story to be had, not the things that happen to her. But there are aspects to the story that are silly, or even preposterous.

Unplug your brain from the mainframe and plug into Lucy.

– Taylor gives Lucy 3.5 flash-drives full of stars out of 5.

– Howe gives it 2 Lucys in the sky with topazes out of 5.

The film is currently showing at the Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.

– Brain Taylor and Peter Howe are film reviewers based in Vernon, B.C.