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Lucy (Blu-ray Review)

24 Jan, 2015 By: John Latchem

Box Office $126.66 million
$29.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray
Rated ‘R’ for strong violence, disturbing images, and sexuality.
Stars Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Amr Waked, Choi Min-sik.

The biggest virtue of director Luc Besson’s Lucy is that it clocks in at just under 90 minutes, plenty of time for a taut and effective sci-fi actioner that doesn’t feel the need to linger on its ideas to convince the audience that it’s more profound than it is.

The film is a meditation on the potential of the human mind, playing off the tired (and debunked) trope that we employ only 10% of our brain capacity. Scarlett Johansson plays Lucy, who is captured by Chinese gangsters and forced to smuggle an experimental narcotic into Europe after the packet is surgically implanted in her belly. Soon enough, the pouch ruptures, overdosing Lucy with the supercharged substance, which in small amounts is intended to infuse the body with a burst of energy.

The drug causes Lucy to evolve rapidly, so she turns to a professor played by Morgan Freeman to help her out. As her brainpower expands and deepens her connection to the universe, she seeks additional sources of the drug in order to further her comprehension of her newfound knowledge, which only draws the ire of the criminals who put her in the predicament to begin with.

This leads to some good action scenes as Lucy tracks down her targets and defends herself, giving way to some visually stunning sequences as Lucy learns how to literally control space and time and decides to take her own tour of the birth of the universe. Besson also had some fun in the editing bay, cross-cutting Lucy’s experiences with footage of animals in the wild experiencing similar danger.

The Blu-ray includes just two short featurettes: a 16-minute behind-the-scenes program and a nine-minute piece about the science that influenced the film.

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