'Lucy' Review Roundup: Critics Mixed On Luc Besson's Latest Thriller
Lucy star Morgan Freeman as a renowned brain specialist
Lucy, from writer and director Luc Besson, stars Scarlett Johansson as the titular character who develops superhuman capabilities.
As a result of her new mental and physical talents – bestowed upon her by drugs that exploded inside her stomach – she becomes a commodity to the police force. With her skills, they hope to find the other drug mules and drug kingpin Mr. Jang (Min-sik Choi). Lucy’s talents amaze brain expert Professor Samuel Norman (Morgan Freeman), who tries to help her control her unheard of capabilities and remain in control of her life.
Critics are split on what to make of the latest female-driven action film by Besson (La Femme Nikita, The Professional, The Fifth Element). On the one hand, there’s something to be said for Besson’s determination to push further and harder in new and insane directions in Lucy. Yet, on the other hand, Lucy decidedly tests even those who consider themselves most able to suspend their disbelief in films of Besson’s variety.
“Something like the offspring of a shotgun marriage between Carl Sagan and Quentin Tarantino, the Scarlett Johansson-starring Lucy is part philosophical/scientific treatise, part action movie, a film that goes from mayhem to boredom in a heartbeat.” – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
“For Besson devotees who sat stoically through The Lady (or patiently during that endless Arthur and the Invisibles series) Lucy is a trippy return to form — to mind-twisting stories, to rocket-propelled camerawork, to eyes-wide-open dreams.” – Stephen Whitty, The Star-Ledger
“ It'll do for a grandiose action premise. But after a swift, absurd, sleekly mounted opening, Lucy runs into a wall, just as its superheroine is established as capable of limitless accomplishments. The movie devolves into a melange of digital effects and sequences of glamorous slaughter, as Lucy swaggers around, with that big brain, and slouches toward becoming a full-lipped deity.” – Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
"Lucy is insane, makes very little sense, doesn't stand up to scrutiny and is an absolute blast. Really, if you like having fun at the movies and pretending to be smart while doing so, you ought to see it. It doesn't matter how silly it all seems later. Writer and director Luc Besson decided to take off all the filters, remove all the restraints and just go full-bore crazy, both visually and with the story. Scarlett Johansson proves a willing accomplice by playing things straight, the calm in the middle of a raging storm. – Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic
Lucy, rated R, is currently in wide release.