A woman, accidentally caught in a dark deal, turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.
Running Time: 1hr 29min
MPAA Rating: R
by Richard Knight, Jr., for Windy City Times
Lucy, from French filmmaker Luc Besson, is no less an exhilarating delight—even more so. Besson ( who scripted, directed and edited ) takes an opposite tack from Guardians. To the typical action-oriented, revenge plot he welds philosophical underpinnings, and creates a thought-provoking blockbuster that is fun, sexy and reflective—and it’s female-driven, to boot.
Scarlett Johansson plays the title character, a party girl living it up in Taiwan who is coerced by her boyfriend into delivering a briefcase to a drug lord named Mr. Jang ( Choi Min-sik ). Jang has a lethal new drug surgically embedded in her body and orders her and several other drug mules to deliver it around the world. But after being brutally kicked in the stomach by one of Jang’s henchman, the drugs become ingested into Lucy’s brain. In seconds, her mental capacities begin to grow at a phenomenal rate, turning her into a superwoman able to control the thoughts of others, as well as mastering matter itself. Lucy goes after Jang and his associates, and then tracks down the other drug mules—aided by Morgan Freeman as a professor who has only hypothesized the amazing things that Lucy can now do.
As Lucy’s brain capacity nears 100 percent, her actions become more audacious by the second and the film takes on an almost hallucinatory quality. ( At one point, she becomes her own time machine. ) Lucy can see so far into the spectrum she’s able to discern the visual equivalent of the soul that Besson ruminates on in the midst of Lucy kicking butt. Besson utilizes a battery of cinematic techniques—stop motion, propulsive edits and jump cuts—to get across Lucy’s amazing new abilities. Although the story, as noted, is typical, Besson’s film is so stylish and tremendously fun ( I smiled through the entire film ), one overlooks the plot holes. Faster than the speed of light, Lucy is certainly the best film I’ve seen this summer.