- Composed by Eric Serra
- Back Lot Music / 2014 / 63m
It seems quite a while since there’s been a major high-profile movie directed by Luc Besson – he’s been involved in several such films as writer or producer but most of the movies he has directed since the turn of the century have slipped under the radar. That’s changed with the high-concept science fiction movie Lucy, in which Scarlett Johansson plays a woman who effectively gets superpowers when she ingests large quantities of a drug designed to allow people to use “the other 90% of their brain” (I said it was high concept, not a sensible concept). Working with Besson for the umpteenth time is composer Eric Serra, the remarkably versatile Frenchman whose music just for this director (let alone the rest of his output) have ranged from ambient electronica to full-on traditional orchestra (often within the same score). For Lucy he has done that electronic/orchestral combination again – but this is absolutely nothing like the standard Remote Control template for such things.
The music is very modern indeed, with some of the electronics veering off into pretty hardcore dance music sounds. It’s all about atmosphere and it is certainly successful at creating a claustrophobic feeling with a real edge of tension – you could cut it with a knife. But you have to be a fan of that style of music to actually enjoy listening to it. The more “conventional” moments (though I can only use the term loosely) rely on some more standard orchestral thriller techniques and these are stylish and effective, though nothing new. The whole package is very cleverly conceived and executed; what it lacks is a high enough level of dramatic conviction to allow me to get over the fact that I just don’t like this type of music. While it pushes the electronic boundaries much further than they are usually pushed, it never quite gets to a point where it is distinctive enough to make me actually enjoy it often enough. Some of the action cues are decent, “Melt Into Matter” with its female vocal is gorgeous and “Flicking Through Time” is vibrant and pulsing with emotion. I can imagine it supports the film very ably (I haven’t seen it, but all the Besson films I have seen have been enhanced considerably by Serra’s music even when it’s not something I would necessarily enjoy on album); but I can’t imagine I’ll be returning to it often at all.