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By Dustin Heller

Lucy is the latest sci-fi action movie which stars Scarlett Johansson and is directed by Luc Besson.  Besson has a long list of action credits to his name including The Professional, La Femme Nikita, and The Fifth Element.  Along with directing, Besson also wrote the screenplay for Lucy.  Scarlett Johansson is quickly becoming the new go-to female for action with this movie and her turn as Black Widow in Iron Man 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and The Avengers.  Her co-star in Lucy is the always excellent Morgan Freeman.

fter a night of heavy partying in Taiwan, Lucy (Johansson) is forced by her boyfriend to deliver a mysterious briefcase to a mob boss.  Things go terribly wrong and Lucy wakes up to find a bag of drugs surgically implanted into her small intestine; and she is forced into becoming a drug mule.  After an altercation on her way to the airport, the bag tears open and this new drug quickly leaks into her bloodstream.  She now has the ability to use more than the normal 10% of her brain’s capacity and turns into somewhat of a superhuman computer.  Lucy must now travel to Paris in order to collect the other bags of the drugs before they fall into the wrong hands.  At the same time, she is working with Professor Norman (Freeman) in an effort to understand what she is going through and to find a way to document her knowledge.  It’s now a race against time for Lucy to pass along her memory before she meets her final destiny.

This movie really gets off to a great start with some heart-pounding thrills and a very intriguing storyline.  The problem is that it falls off a cliff after the first act is over.  Scarlett Johansson is so good at the beginning of this movie and really shows off her acting chops, and then once the drug enters her bloodstream, she is forced to play the rest of the movie virtually lifeless and without emotion.  This was one of the biggest missteps of the movie in my opinion; it was impossible to relate to Scarlett’s character once she became superhuman.  The movie actually became pretty hokey the longer it went on with Lucy being able to use more and more of her brain’s capacity.  The final sequence had a Tree of Life feel to it, but was just ridiculous.  I was hoping this would be a hard-hitting action flick with Lucy kicking everyone’s butt, but it turned out to be much more of a sci-fi movie with very little action.  Luc Besson can definitely direct action, but I’m not sure he should be writing science fiction.  In the end, it felt like Lucy was nothing more than a missed opportunity for a really good action movie; and a waste of talent from a great lead actress.

Grade:  C-

Lucy opens in theaters on Friday, July 25.

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