As with Nymphomaniac (2013), Lucy frustrates due to a tendency to keep telling us what we are seeing. Whether it’s the Nature Channel foregrounding of the hunter / prey scenario being played out in the opening scenes or Morgan Freeman’s Basil Exposition character, popping up more and more to explain what we are seeing, the whole thing, despite having that Luc Besson comic book feel, just gets in the way of itself.
Then, the film suddenly becomes something else and we are in a mixture of X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963) and The Tree of Life (2011) and Transcendence (2014). Does it suddenly become a satisfying movie? No, not entirely but it does become a bit more interesting even if it is crippled by being neither one thing or another.
Transcendence is a decent film. It’s taken almost a week for me to decide that but yesterday I was asked if it was worth seeing and the answer was a definite ‘yes’. What it’s got going for it is a great sci-fi concept that it runs with. And Paul Bettany.
The problem with Transcendence is that, as good as it is, I can’t really describe what ‘a film by Wally Pfister’ is like. It looks great (so great that it could easily lose 30mins by getting rid of establishing shots and cutaways) but that look is without real personality and so is the film in general. There are moments that threaten to break out, one plot development signals an unease that really lifts the whole film just at the right moment, but fittingly this feels like a film without a real soul and you can’t deny that ‘what if?’ shadows of Cronenberg and Carruth etc loom over it.
But it is a decent film and interesting enough to qualify as a real ‘have you seen…?’ movie.