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  • Jared Huizenga

I Know Where the Drugs Are … ‘Lucy’ Has Them All

If you or anyone you know are currently looking for illicit substances and are trouble tracking any down, I’m pretty sure it’s because much like the title character in “Lucy,” director Luc Besson and the rest of his creative team has them.

In fact, I think they might have all of them.


Writer/director Luc Besson directs Scarlett Johansson in “Lucy,”an action-thriller that examines the possibility of what one human could truly do if she unlocked 100 percent of her brain capacity and accessed the furthest reaches of her mind. (Photo Credit: Universal Pictures. Copyright: © 2014 Universal Studios. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)


In the title role, Scarlett Johansson plays a young woman living in Taiwan who, through no fault of her own other than bad taste in men, becomes one of several unwilling drug mules for the Taiwanese mafia.

The mules, who are used as the delivery vessel for a drug that looks mysteriously like something cooked up on “Breaking Bad,” are sent to their various destinations and will only be granted their freedom upon delivery of the goods and a return trip to their “employer” is complete.

Upon arrival, the fetching Lucy catches the eye of a mafia henchman. When his romantic intentions are rebuffed he proceeds to beat Lucy, damaging the package of drugs and causing Lucy to ingest large quantities of the drug, which cause her to begin using more than the 10 percent of the brain that humans are believed to use.

The remainder of “Lucy” finds Johansson weaving her way throughout Europe in search of the other mules, revenge, knowledge and a way to pass it on before her inevitable downfall.

Along the way she encounters Samuel Norman (Morgan Freeman) a professor who has studied the human brain and its capabilities for decades and a French policeman (Amr Waked), who helps her in both her mission and as a reminder of what life at or below the 10 percent was like.

To call “Lucy” an action-thriller, doesn’t really describe it. It has action and it has some thrills, but it also has some scientific theories that make the TV series “Fringe” look like fact, some Animal Planet outtakes and more than a few moments that leave you scratching your head.

Besson, best known for writing and directing “The Fifth Element” and writing the “Taken” and “Transporter” series, brings that breakneck pace to “Lucy” and adds some scientific theories to it that are either way beyond my comprehension or are completely impossible, but believable because they’re delivered by the voice of Freeman.

Johansson is OK as Lucy, although the line where Lucy loses her humanity (a side effect of increased brain power). The charm of Johansson’s voice (displayed in “Her”) and her action chops (as Black Widow in the Marvel films) aren’t used nearly enough here.

The story hops all over the place and it does it at a pace that is really hard to follow.

Inevitably, some of your friends are going to watch “Lucy,” they’re going to think the ideas are plausible and they’re going to try and explain why. They don’t know and they don’t understand, so don’t listen to them.

“Lucy” is definitely not what I would call a good movie, but it’s definitely one to see if you like strange sci-fi/action movies that move quick and leave you confused and looking for more than 10 percent brain function.

★★ of ★★★★★

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