What's it about
Scarlett Johansson going from clueless damsel-in-distress to do-it-all beauty-with brains. It's about how a young woman who doesn't know any better gets dragged into the bad end of a drug deal, is forced to become a mule, and due to circumstances, the drugs leak into her system, unlocking her brain's potential, enabling her to access all 100% of it. What she does with that kind of power is what this hour-and-a-half long movie is about.
ScarJo is quite simply the only reason to watch this film. In the hands of a lesser actor (and looker), all the constant jabbering on and on about the human condition would've seemed incredibly dull.
There isn't much of a graph here for ScarJo to scale, though. Also, Morgan Freeman is wonderful as a narrator, but it's a waste of his talent if he's relegated to doing just that. It ends up feeling like a documentary on steroids. And talking about steroids, it sends out the wrong signal when you indicate that drugs (so what if it's fictional?) can make you super-brainy. Not quite the message you want to be sending out to impressionable youngsters. It's sad that Besson has to rely so heavily on his leading lady and some pretty decent CGI to get by. Beautifully shot action sequences, a hallmark of Besson's films, are kept on a tight leash. Barely anything consequential happens in the first half and by the second half, you're too fried to care. And next time, a little less conversation, a little more action please?
What to do
With aspirations of being cerebral and cool at the same time, Lucy falls somewhere in the middle. This one isn't a one-size-fits-all, you could either love it or loathe it. Watch this one only for Scarlett Johansson. And better luck next time, Luc!