LUCY  *** 1 / 2

Starring Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Amar Weked, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Choi Mi-sik. Written and directed by Luc Besson.

I’m not sure we have ever seen an actress coming into herself and owning her screen persona quite in the way we’ve seen lately with Scarlett Johansson. She’s unstoppable right now. This is seriously early-aughts Angelina shit, except the movies are good.

I love watching her, and so do you.

Lucy is great junk –a headrush of a film so bizarre you’ll spend the entire fleeting, eighty-something-minute running time wondering how it ever got made in the first place. It’s the great French vulgarian Luc Besson’s Tree Of Life, pondering existential questions about God and the universe while still having a hot chick in high-heels and mini-skirts shooting the shit out of everybody. Morgan Freeman occasionally narrates.

Johansson begins the movie as a dopey dope mule in a cheetah-print jacket, and the swiftness with which Besson sends her from situations starting at bad and ending up worse represent a tiny marvel of narrative economy. Stuck with a bucketload of some new experimental designer drug surgically stashed in her muffin-top, she suddenly gets wicked smart after a bag leaks into her bloodstream.

And watch out boys, because Scarlett is evolving. Following that old crap science canard that people only use 10% of their brain, Lucy keeps accessing more and more of her cerebral cortex to a point where she finally hits 100% and retires from the human race altogether. It’s a fucking insane movie full of cockamamie action sequences and symbolically freighted shout-outs to 2001: A Space Odyssey, always pausing to leer at how great Johansson looks in heels.

Lucy is crazy. It’s also Besson’s most purely enjoyable picture since La Femme Nikita and The Professional, tightly edited and recklessly hurtling into one over-the-top over-choreographed set-piece after another while cheerfully never quite making one goddamn lick of sense. This thing is all pure sensation and man, does it feel good going down.

I think the moral of the story is that drugs are awesome. So is Scarlett.

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