Synopsis: Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) begins the story “just like you: vulnerable, uncertain, frightened of death,” but when the bag of drugs some very bad people “slipped into her lower tummy” bursts, her life is changed forever. She doesn’t overdose. Instead the drug expands her mind to 10 times the usual capacity. She becomes a turbocharged human who can change her appearance and move objects with her mind. She contacts a world-famous neuroscientist (Morgan Freeman) to pass along her newfound knowledge, but not before unleashing the power of her mind on the baddies who got her into this mess.
Richard: Mark, Lucy is a different style of movie, the philosophical action movie. The philosophy is all mumbo-jumbo but that doesn’t matter because the film is filled with many enjoyable scenes. Imagine a mix of Limitless, La Femme Nikita and The Matrix run through Luc Besson’s absurd style of moviemaking and you get the idea of what this movie is all about. What did you make of it?
Mark: The movie is great when it remembers it’s a thriller but when the pseudoscience and dime-store spirituality takes over, it becomes oppressive. I always can depend on Besson for brisk pacing but he slows it all down for a series of lectures — literally, with Morgan Freeman narrating his part as seems to be his custom now.
RC: Freeman is one of two top-billed stars in this movie, but his part could have been played by almost anyone. The movie really belongs to Scarlett Johansson, who starts off as a bubbly party girl and ends the movie as the keeper of the secrets of the universe. It’s a bit of a stretch, but if you can wade through the silly scientific theories, there are some great scenes that are more fun than a barrel of neuroscientists. In one fight scene, all the bad guys have knives and guns while Johansson taps into her inner Jedi Knight to defeat them without raising her hand. That sequence alone is worth sitting through the entire 80-minute running time.
MB: I liked lots of scenes in the movie, especially at the beginning when Johansson realizes how much trouble she’s in. Afterward she’s a bit of an automaton but a very hot one. And what did you think of the trippy psychedelic visuals and time travel revelations toward the end?
RC: You mean the Terrence-Malick-by-way-of-Stanley-Kubrick tribute? I don’t want to give away anything, but with a movie as loopy as this one, I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that there is some wild time travel back to the beginning of time. I guess it’s an attempt to add some profundity to the story, but it plays more like a Philosophy 101 student on an acid trip.
MB: Loopy is right, Richard, maybe even crazy. But at least Besson cribs from the best.