Where is her mind?
One way to watch this film is as the third section of an unofficial but weirdly beguiling Scarlett Johansson trilogy.
She was the seductive voice of an operating system in Her and the fatally attractive human body assumed by a homicidal alien in Under the Skin. And now she’s a mind-blowing super-powered warrior woman in Luc Besson’s latest action fantasy.
Besson’s script has Johansson’s Lucy as the unwitting recipient of an experimental drug that endows her with unimagined mental powers. She becomes the radically dynamic embodiment of the theories of a scientist (Morgan Freeman) who speculates authoritatively about what would happen should human beings start activating more than 10 percent of their brains’ capacity.
In Besson’s hands, this becomes a flamboyantly pulpy mixture of trippy special effects, sub-Asian gunplay farce, and some facetiously cinematic pantheism. Oddball humor, some reflections on the future of human emotion, and Johansson’s vivid deadpan performance help ensure some lively entertainment amid the obvious silliness.