Fast and Lucy with the Movie

DATELINE: Kubrick Homage?

Lucy

Director Luc Bresson must have seen Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey too many times as a child. He makes a movie like he alone must love Lucy.

His new movie Lucy begins with an apparent homage to the opening sequence of Kubrick’s sci-fi classic with just one simple simian at the watering hole. It is, of course, the first human, Lucy in Africa a million years ago.

He ends his movie with the same psychedelic trip through the portals of time and space as the long-ago classic. In between these moments, Bresson postulates the old chestnut theory that the world (and universe) will be the oyster of humans if they ever used more than 10% of their brains.

Last time we saw Scarlett Johanssen, we were greatly amused at her catatonic space alien, wandering around Glasgow in an original film called Under the Skin by Jonathan Glazer. This time she starts out as a drug mule for some Chinese mobsters and ends up with a packet sewn into her stomach. When it explodes, the formula does something to her brain.

Suddenly she is more than smart. She has extrasensory powers. Who knew? Well, scientist Morgan Freeman does. Lucy contacts him about her gift, and Freeman has sage advice indeed.

All this opens up the chance for your rather typical car chases, shoot-outs, and violent shenanigans. This time the hero is a woman driver.

Johanssen does it better than most everyone else, and the movie hums along with flashy directorial style dancing on the edge of crypto-science. We half expected Bigfoot and UFOs to join hands at the climax.

It’s not mindless entertainment. It may actually force you to use 10% of your brain.