Share this story
Close X
Switch to Desktop Site

'Lucy': Even the supersmart protagonist probably couldn't explain this movie

'Lucy' stars Scarlett Johansson as an American expat in Taiwan whose brain power is increased.

View video

'Lucy' stars Scarlett Johansson (r.) and Morgan Freeman (l.).

Jessica Forde/Universal Pictures/AP

View photo

Luc Besson makes nonsensical movies and so, of course, he was the perfect writer-director for “Lucy,” a Scarlett Johansson headliner about an American expat in Taiwan who runs afoul of the local mob and ends up accidentally ingesting a blue crystal drug – don’t ask – and becoming supersmart. 

We’re not talking the usual 10% brainpower smart here. As the action ramps up, the screen flashes her ascending cerebral wattage: first 20% (putting her on a par with dolphins, apparently) and then moving on up the scale to 100%, at which point she can do just about anything – except, I would wager, make sense of this movie. 

About these ads

I know we’re supposed to think that Besson’s daffy cinematic calisthenics are entertaining because at least they are not boring. But I was bored. It didn’t help that Morgan Freeman shows up as a brainy scientist explaining everything to us in his deepest intonations. When was the last time Freeman, a great actor, really acted? 

And what’s up with Johansson’s casting choices lately? She was terrific in “Her” as a disembodied computer program and eerie as an alien in “Under the Skin.” Now this. I guess for her the abnormal is the new normal. Grade: C (Rated R for strong violence, disturbing images, and sexuality.)