Remember Limitless just a few years back? It starred Bradley Cooper as a lazy aspiring novelist who takes a wonder drug that allows him to access 100 percent of his brain – why Hollywood has latched on to the myth that humans use such a small percentage of their brain is a mystery, but it’s becoming a common storyline. The secret pill turns him into a savant overnight; suddenly he is physically, sexually and mentally voracious.
Lucy plays around with the same storyline with the exception that the protagonist is played by Scarlett Johansson and she can do anything Cooper can do with heels on.
Lucy is living in Taipei, China, with her boyfriend. She agrees to deliver a package to the mob on his behalf. The mob quickly kills the boyfriend and kidnaps Lucy. They throw her onto a surgical bed and sew the package of drugs into her body. The plan to turn Lucy into a mule backfires when the packet is accidentally punctured (maybe you shouldn’t kick someone where they’ve been implanted with drugs) and the drugs begin to give her superhuman strength and brainpower.
These scenes are spliced together with a lecture from the renowned Professor Norman (Morgan Freeman), who discusses the unknown possibilities of the human brain – we are, after all, only using 1 percent of it.
This is the moment when the world’s neuroscientists cower in a corner and cry, and also where the movie moves from silly to absolutely stupid. But, and there is a big but, director Luc Besson has an enormously fun time with this stupid action movie. From the moment the drugs begin to take effect, Lucy is an unstoppable force, and Besson fills the movie with a number of super charged wonderfully choreographed fight scenes. The result borders on maniacal.
Johansson herself is a complete revelation. She is the best kind of female heroine: confident, intelligent and fierce, and her sex appeal is used as a weapon rather than a gimmick.
If you can get past the ridiculousness of it all, Lucy is a perfect summer popcorn flick.