Luc Besson returns to the director’s chair for the first time since 2013’s lackluster film The Family, to bring us Lucy, the tale of a drug mule gone wrong. Scarlett Johansson stars as the titular Lucy, who, after being suckered into delivering a case of a new experimental and highly potent drugs, finds herself square in the world of drug smuggling as a unwitting mule trafficking the drug to the United States. However, things go horribly wrong after the bag breaks and Lucy’s body is bombarded by the drug, which seems to be able to unlock parts of the brain that, in the movie’s universe, typically remain dormant.
The caveat about the movie’s universe comes into to question because the myth that humans only use 10% of their brain has been proven to be just that, myth. But the movie uses this falsehood to perpetuate and entire story. The logic and science explored in the film is utterly preposterous, but for two thirds of the movie the audience can go along with the script because the film has a lot of fun pushing the story right up to the edge of ridiculousness without crossing over. This is also helped by a decent performance from Johansson, who starts off as a vapid party girl only to be transformed into an emotionless meta-human. Morgan Freeman delivers his typical Morgan Freeman performance, with his voice tone and projection lending credibility that he could be a professor. Choi Min-sik is fantastic in the very little that he is used, playing the gangster that puts the drugs in Lucy, a sadly wasted performance and the film suffers slightly whenever he is not on screen.
The biggest issue with Lucy comes in the infuriating, mind-numbingly ludicrous third act that jumps headlong off the cliff of sanity and offers no apologies for anything it does. The film goes so far beyond any form of reasonable comprehension that the audience should actually leave the theatre feeling dumber than when they went in. And I forgot to mention the excessive use of animal stock footage used throughout the entire film, mainly to drive home whichever point Besson’s is trying to make, but with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the head. Lucy is two thirds of a fun action/sci-fi romp and a final third of possibly the worst script of the year, which in the end leaves the audiences befuddled, but necessarily disappointed.