LUCY (Luc Besson). 89 minutes. Opens Friday (July 25). See listings. Rating: NNN
Lucy marks Luc Besson's return to directing fierce females in kick-ass action films like Le Professional and La Femme Nikita. The script's attempt to be a bit more cerebral - quite literally - doesn't make a ton of sense, but the film's fun and silly enough to qualify for a big summer release.
Scarlett Johansson plays the eponymous American student who unsuspectingly becomes involved in a drug mule operation out of Taiwan. When a huge batch of the mysterious new drugs enters her system, her neurons go turbo and her brain starts working at increased capacity. Soon she's tracking down the other mules for more wonder drug, and communicating with Professor Norman (Morgan Freeman), a brain expert. Meanwhile, the baddies, headed by a sinister Min-sik Choi, are on her tail.
Johansson is terrific in a role that's the opposite of her Under The Skin character. There she played an alien becoming human; here she's a human becoming... not alien exactly, but more machine-like and philosophical. And Freeman shows yet again that he can make cheesy dialogue sound profound.
The action scenes are the real star, including a surreal shootout in a hospital corridor and one jaw-dropping chase sequence through the busy streets of Paris.