Luc Besson hasn’t helmed a ludicrous sci-fi flick since The Fifth Element, though he’s been a successful hands-on producer of a string of hits in the interim – Taken, The Transporter, and so on. With Lucy he follows this high star-power, mid-budget formula, casting Scarlett Johansson as an unwitting drug mule transformed by the experimental chemical inside her, a substance that unlocks the 90% of the human brain we allegedly don’t use.
One thing’s for sure, even though this notion is scientifically discredited, you won’t need to use more than 10% of your noggin while watching this. Making The Fifth Element look like 2001 by comparison, Lucy is an astonishingly stupid film that nevertheless has its own Kubrickian midf-ck aspirations. When a TARDIS-like office chair arrives towards the end, well, the less said of that the better, but by then Besson’s drained most of the fun out of his premise and even the nuttiest moments make little impact.
Sadly this undoes some impressive special effects sequences, and a lot of Johansson’s good work in the first act. She brings some genuine acting to a film that doesn’t really call for it, strongly selling the plight of a young woman caught up with violent drug smugglers, but is soon reduced to robotic eye candy. Given superhuman status by the chemical changes she experiences, Lucy is an unbeatable, all-powerful hero, which removes all risk and stakes from the film, so every confrontation, fight or chase is a completely forgone conclusion – leaving just a hodgepodge of concepts that combine into what’s thankfully just a 91-minute mess.
‘Lucy’ Movie Times