News

REVIEW: Scarlett Johansson gets brainy in ‘Lucy’

REVIEW: Scarlett Johansson gets brainy in ‘Lucy’

Photo: YouTube

Genre: Action, Sci-Fi | Run Time: 90 min | Rated: R
Director: Luc Besson | Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Min-sik Choi

By: George Wolf of Maddwolf.com

Nearly ten years ago, Wedding Crashers taught us the best response to “people use only ten percent of our brains” is…”I think we use only ten percent of our hearts.”

Still, writer/director Luc Besson bases his new film Lucy on that old urban legend, and what might happen if someone could suddenly flex four, five or even ten times more grey matter muscle.

A ridiculous premise doesn’t have to sink a film, and this one actually gets off to a solid start as Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) unwillingly becomes a drug mule for ruthless Korean kingpin Mr. Jang (the always fascinating Min-sik Choi).

Jang’s henchman surgically stash a bag of his new product into Lucy’s abdomen, but the pouch breaks when she suffers a beating. In just minutes, the drug settles into Lucy’s bloodstream and begins opening countless new cognitive horizons.

It doesn’t take long to realize how much better this film is because of Johansson. She provides the terror-filled vulnerability to make us care about her character early on, then projects the right amount of wonder and determination as Lucy seeks out a famed brain researcher (Morgan Freeman, straight from Transcendence) to assist in her transformation.

Besson gets busy from the outset, as quick cuts and frenetic action are interspersed with scenes of animals in the wild, reinforcing the changing roles we see between hunter and prey. While not exactly subtle, it is stylish, and downright abstract compared to what Besson brings to the film’s second act.

As his characters begin to lament how we’ve all become more concerned with “having than being,” Besson shamelessly parrots Malick’s Tree of Life and Kubrick’s 2001, apparently believing the film to be an equally eloquent statement on mankind’s past, purpose, and future.

It isn’t, but with about 50 percent less pretension, Lucy could have been a fun guilty pleasure.

Verdict-2-5-Stars

Read more reviews by George Wolf and Hope Madden on Maddwolf.com.

Recent Headlines

38 mins ago in Entertainment

Charlize Theron gearing up for ‘Fast 8’

Fresh
charlizetheron

The "Mad Max: Fury Road" star is in early talks to play the villain in the eighth installment of the hugely successful street racing series.

43 mins ago in Entertainment

‘Deadpool’ isn’t even out yet – but a sequel is in the works

Fresh
18-overlay-6

Ryan Reynolds suits up as the homicidal mercenary, aka Wade Wilson, in the adaptation of the Marvel comic book series, which opens Friday.

49 mins ago in Music

Randy Travis performs for first time after stroke

Fresh
randy-travis

The "Forever and Ever, Amen" singer is slowly regaining his abilities following his 2013 health scare which left him unable to walk and talk.

1 hour ago in Entertainment

Move over Whopper, the King is adding hot dogs to its menu

Fresh
22-overlay-7

The world's most famous "dog" is helping the fast food chain promote its latest offering.

1 hour ago in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: Russian egg roulette with Peyton Manning & Magic Johnson

Fresh
16-overlay-12

It's the Super Bowl 50 champ versus the NBA legend.