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Lucy by Eric Serra (Review)

posted Jul 24, 2014, 2:43 PM by Kaya Savas

Luc Besson quickly became a prominent auteur director in the early 90’s and had some really big success with films like Léon and The Fifth Element. In recent years he's taken more of a producer/writer role, but still helped define the action genre in his own way. He is the creative mind behind films like Taken and The Transporter. Besson has directed a few movies in the past few years such as Angel-A, The Lady and The Family. However, he hasn’t really returned to the action genre as a director until now. Also, when you get a Luc Besson film you are more than likely going to have an Eric Serra score. Serra has composed almost every one of Besson’s films, and his scores for Léon and The Fifth Element were an incredible display of his musical voice. Serra was also chosen to bring new life the James Bond franchise in GoldenEye. That didn’t go according to plan for the producers, but his score there became an iconic modern representation of Bond that was reflected in the popular video game as well. Lucy brings Serra back to a territory where he strives in, and that’s Besson directed sci-fi. Lucy may not be a perfect score, but it has enough style and flair to make it a more than entertaining experience.

The score for Lucy gains strength as it progresses along. We start as a typical sort of electronic droning suspense score, then Serra supports the action with some interesting textures. Serra’s style is all over the score, and for me it was almost like a trip back to scores like GoldenEye and The Fifth Element in the best way possible. He is able to build some effective moments even if the cohesive body of the score has a hard time sticking together. There's a lacking thematic structure to whole journey. Some of the synths and sounds have a little 80’s flavor to it, and it gives the score just the right amount of a sci-fi kick. In all honestly, I feel like the music could have been even more stylized. I think the weakness of the score lies in its lack of a lasting impact. I didn’t feel absorbed fully until the last third or so, and if it takes that long to finally get on track then the whole experience won’t be a memorable one. It’s still an entertaining ride though, and it has plenty of great standout moments.

Lucy is not the full-form Serra we heard in scores like Léon and The Fifth Element, but it’s still hearing a veteran auteur hitting some fun strides with a director he’s been working with his entire career. There’s nothing to hate about Lucy’s stylistic score, but it doesn’t offer anything to take with you beyond listening to it in the moment. There are some great melodic points that will pull you in, but not enough of them. This is a score that needed some more stylization to make it stand out, but it’s still a fine Eric Serra score as it stands.