Remember Limitless, the 2011 American thriller with Bradley Cooper who takes a drug call NTZ, which allows him to use 100 percent of his brain? Well, Lucy is basically the same film just with Scarlett Johansson switched at the title role. Now, the similar storyline is not the problem here, it’s the direction. Even though Limitless was uneven at times, director Neil Burger (The Illusionist) was still able to keep the film going in the right direction. Lucy on the other hand ended up OD’ing halfway through the film. Director Luc Besson (The Fifth Element and Taken) knows how to pack in thrills, but doesn’t always follow through with the development of the story.
Lucy (Johansson) is a student living in Taiwan who ends up getting tricked into being a drug mule for a brutal Mr. Jang (Choi Min Sik). An accident arises after the drugs that are implanted into her intestines spring a leak. From the drugs she gains powers like telepathy and telekinesis. Lucy is suddenly a lethal superbrain and turns the tables on her captors. As she keeps growing stronger Lucy realizes that her powers could in fact spiral her out-of-control. Johansson does a knock-out job at the female-driven role, but Besson lacks the right execution here. Things become hokey when Morgan Freeman shows up, as professor Norman, to explain the “meaning” of what’s going on and the myths behind the brain.
Besson’s styles and visuals are on top-notch as ever, but the fast pace and nonsensical plot takes the film a step down. In the end, Lucy becomes a rather silly sci-fi thriller only to be mildly amusing thanks to Johansson’s superlative performance. Surprisingly, if you turn your brain off to watch this film Lucy becomes illogical entertainment.
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