Lucy review

Choosing whether or not to buy Luc Besson's new film on Blu-ray is a complete no-brainer

Ever heard the old wive's tale about humans only using 10 per cent of their brain power? Well, that's the concept at the heart of filmmaker Luc Besson's new film, which finds Scarlett Johansson playing the titular drug mule infected by an experimental narcotic that boosts her brain to the point where she exhibits superhuman mental abilities.

Now, that sounds like the ideal setup for the kind of daft action films Besson has been content to simply produce for the past decade (such as Taken and The Transporter). However, here he has a much bigger goal, one signposted by a shot of an early hominid (yet another Lucy). You guessed it, this is Besson's very own 2001: A Space Odyssey.

It's a ludicrous conceit, but one that results in a unusual and enjoyable piece of popcorn cinema that – thanks to its bizarre mix of action and philosophy – is either the dumbest smart film or smartest dumb film the world has ever seen. We're content to say it's the latter, and it definitely marks a return to (completely bonkers) form for Besson after the depressingly ordinary and uninteresting likes of The Family and The Lady

Picture: Finding any flaws in Lucy's AVC 2.40:1 Full HD encode proves a challenge. Originally filmed at 4K on Sony F65 camera (and with SFX provided by the likes of Industrial Light & Magic), the sci-fi imagery is as sharp as Lucy's mind, with crisp edging and lush textures. Tonally, it bursts with vibrant primary and secondary colours from start to finish, while ringing, aliasing and noise aren't an issue.

In other words, Lucy serves up a reference-quality 1080p presentation.
Picture rating: 5/5

Audio: Universal's disc arrives with a DTS-HD Master Audio track, and no sign of a home iteration of its theatrical Dolby Atmos mix. That's a shame, but this flat 5.1 affair is still a potent partner to the Full HD visuals. Perfectly balanced and active enough to satisfy the ears of the most picky audiophiles, it demonstrates generous range and depth, even if it isn't constantly working your speakers with explosions and gunfights. Although that certainly is the case during the obligatory shootout at the finale (Chapter 17).
Audio rating: 4.5/5

Extras: Lucy may claim that we only use 10 per cent of our brain capacity, but that's still about six per cent more than Universal's disc devotes to bonus features.

The Evolution of Lucy (16 minutes) is a run-of-the-mill Making of… featurette that interviews Luc Besson and the principal cast about the filmmaking process and the concepts this sci-fi flick deals with. Elsewhere, Cerebral Capacity: The True Science of Lucy wastes 10 minutes of your life discussing the (totally bogus) science behind the film. And, sadly, that's your lot.
Extras rating: 1/5

We say: Prepare to lose your mind over Lucy's reference-quality visuals and superb lossless audio

Lucy, Universal Pictures, All-region BD, £25 Approx