Lucy – movie review

Lucy, starring the beautiful Scarlett Johansson is an action-packed science fiction thriller.


Scarlett’s character is “Lucy”, an American living in Taiwan. The movie is not exactly clear on what she does for a living, but it is hinted that she is sort of a party girl. Her sleazy boyfriend tricks her into delivering a briefcase to a violet Chinese crime boss.

At this point her whole life changes and the real story begins. She is knocked out and  operated on. A bag containing a new designer drug is inserted into her abdomen. When she awakens she is told that if she does not smuggle the drugs into the United States the crime boss will have her whole family killed.

All of this is a set up for what happens next. The bag leaks and the drugs flood into her body. Amazing changes take place and she is now able to access extroaginary mental powers.

The other big star the movie is Morgan Freeman.


He plays Professor Samuel Norman who does research into the human mind. While Lucy is having her adventures in Taiwan, Professor Norman is explaining to a group of students that the average human being only uses about 10% of his or her brain’s capability.   He speculates on what would happen if someone could ever reach 100%.

Of course this is exactly what is happening to Lucy. The drug is unlocking more and more of her mind’s powers .

The problem with the movie is that the plot is rather silly. It is a fun movie since Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman are magnificent actors and there are a lot of action scenes. However, we wish the movie had stayed with the theme of unlocking the brain’s potential.  It would have been interesting to see what the impact would be on a silly frivolous young woman who suddenly finds herself getting progressively smarter at a geometric rate.

Instead the movie becomes another superhero or X-Men knock-off. Lucy becomes a combination of Magneto and Professor Xavier. She can make guns fly out of bad guys’ hands, read people’s minds, travel through time and even make people float in the air. There is no basis for this in the premise that the drug is simply unlocking the brain’s potential. Just because you get smarter does not mean the laws of physics no longer apply.

The ending is also very disappointing. Lucy and the Professor do not meet up until very late in the film and do not really interact very much once they do. It is a shame that the director chose to have the two stars of the film work mostly independently of each other.

We won’t give away the end but will say that it is a weird sort of 2001 a Space Odyssey  ending that left a lot of people in the theater saying “what the heck was that ending about?”

Still it is worth seeing just for Johansson, Freeman and the special effects.  If you are bringing kids, be warned that this movie has a lot of violence and blood and a very high body count.

We give this movie 3 stars ***

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