When Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) is drafted into a drug deal by her boyfriend, she is forced to carry drugs in her stomach, intended for global destinations. The drug – CHP4 – has the possibility to enhance the human mind, and when one of the bags in Lucy’s stomach ruptures, she becomes almost impossibly powerful and embarks on a quest for knowledge and revenge.
First things first, in order to enjoy Lucy, one has to ignore the main notion put forward by the film – that we only use 10% of our brain’s capability. This has long since been disproven in the real world, but in the world of Luc Besson’s film, the myth still holds true.
Scarlett Johansson plays both sides of Lucy incredibly well; she is convincing as the party girl who makes bad decisions, and again as the badass killing machine, incapable of feeling remorse. This is not a surprise, however, as Johansson has been nurturing her craft as an actress for some time. Morgan Freeman, once again, plays a wise older man in a position of authority who Lucy runs to for help. Analeigh Tipton turns up as Lucy’s roommate, and Julian Rhind-Tutt takes some time off from A Touch of Cloth to play The Limey – the man who sends Lucy to meet her fate.
The story, written by Besson, dismisses the laws of science and nature, to a degree, for the sake of action and adventure. We never truly get to know the central character, because as fast as she is introduced, she immediately starts changing. As well as this, the film is almost too tightly scripted; Lucy goes through many stages of change throughout the film, but zips through each stage in order to keep the story moving. This would not normally be a complaint, but there are some wonderful moments that whiz by too quickly, leaving Lucy feeling a little thin.
As director, Lucy is Besson’s best film in years. The action is fun – and more than a little silly – and even though plot holes abound, the film manages to take itself just seriously enough to be extremely entertaining. It’s clear that Johansson and Freeman carry the film on their incredibly talented shoulders, but they manage to make the silliest elements of the film enjoyable, and almost make up for the fact that Besson seems to have got confused as to whether he was making Samsara, his own version of The Tree of Life, or a stand alone Black Widow film.
Lucy is an incredibly silly film, but despite its flaws, it is a whole lot of fun. Johansson and Freeman carry the story ably, and Besson puts them in the centre of a heightened world that lets them play to their strengths. Just try and forget about the plot holes, frantic pacing and wilful ignoring of scientific fact, and Lucy is a film filled with entertainment and fun.