Writer/director Luc Besson known for La Femme Nikita, The Professional and The Fifth Element, directs Scarlett Johansson in an action-thriller ‘Lucy’ that debuts in theaters this weekend.
Morgan Freeman (Professor Norman) proposes a theory about the brain to fellow scientist. At one point the plethora of standard photos on the screen lessens the impact of Freeman’s lecture about the unique qualities of the brain. On second thought, maybe the distraction is what is intended since his lecture is based on a lie. He proclaims that humans only use 10% of their brain capacity. However, the truth is human’s use all of their brain capability but not at the same time. This lecture sets into motion the movies premise.
In the film, we are first introduced to Lucy (Scarlett Johansson ) when she is out partying in Taiwan. Her boyfriend of one-week tricks her into taking a case into a hotel where she is forced to transport an unknown item (presumably drugs) against her will. An accident causes the contents of a bag to transform her from an airhead partygoer into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic with the capacity to use 100% of her brain.
At first Lucy seems interesting and then it’s not. Who amongst does not like to see some good old girl payback? We learn that Lucy is by happenstance the same name given to the hominid remains found in Ethiopia (she even has a cameo). Unfortunately, the film suffers from excess as it borrows heavily from ‘Transcendence’ (also starring Morgan Freeman) and ‘The Tree of Life’ resulting in a mish-mash of sci-fi overload.
Scarlett Johansson who replaced Angelina Jolie on this project is excellent as the youthful and uncertain Lucy. In fact, she has become the go-to girl for action and daring stunts (‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier ‘). She expertly morphs from frightened party-girl to a confident cold-blooded killer.
Korean actor Min-sik Choi (‘Oldboy ‘) takes on the role of the villain, Mr. Jang. Of course, he has at his disposal the requisite Asian thugs to do his bidding. Choi portrays this character with steely assurance as he murders at will.
‘Lucy’ has all the elements of a good fast-paced action movie complete with a pretty girl, car chase, guns, and hand-to-hand combat. But, even the inclusion of these essential factors cannot offset a script that lacks originality and melts into primordial black tar.
‘Lucy’ is Rated R for strong violence, disturbing images, and sexuality. It has a run time of 90 minutes.