Video: Lucy in the sky with diamonds

by Richard Gould

LUCY arrives on Blu-ray after a late-summer run that shocked the experts—due, I think, to all the film’s known talent going full echt with their brands. A bullet-riddled Luc Besson pic that spans three continents with its story of a species-altering super-drug and the toughs who aim to get it, Lucy’s the trippiest and most chance-taking production of Besson’s long career, and showcases Scarlett Johansson in her—and his—most kickass female lead to date. For Besson, that’s saying something. Johansson plays a drifter student abroad who’s forced by a Korean mob boss to be a drug-mule for a packet of blue-crystal CPH4 bound for Paris. The stuff has been synthesized, she soon figures out, to raise human brain usage from its paltry 10 percent to unknown heights—sewn into the abdomens of herself and three unluckies by Mr. Jang’s henchmen. When a stray kick breaks that bag loose and sends it coursing into her bloodstream, Lucy’s mental powers become enriched, then highly-enriched, and then weaponized. It’s a race against the mob, the cops and her own amped genetic clock for Lucy to make contact with renowned brain expert Morgan Freeman and learn her purpose—as those sensory powers threaten to accelerate her into toast. Purest candy-corn from start to finish, with a game-winning tally of clean kills, Lucy has morphed Johansson’s clean-cut Marvel appeal to a new lethality.

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