Lucy is a special kind of disappointment. It's the sort of disappointment best reserved for overblown action movies. You know the ones, the bright, promising looking ones that lure you in with a sharply cut trailer and convince you there's a glimmer of self-aware possibility below that glossy surface. When you get there, though, you sink further and further into disappointment. The sentience never shows itself, so you resign yourself to being simply disappointed and to trying to enjoy the fact the film is so much of a letdown. That's what Lucy is: disappointment with a creamy chocolate center of more disappointment, and if there's a word for this, the Germans surely have it. In the meantime, the film is a train wreck of overblown pseudo-scientific philosophy and good old ultraviolence. It's maybe the stupidest movie about hyper-intelligence, and so bizarrely straight-faced in its approach that it's hard to tell whether the film doesn't get its own joke or simply isn't including the audience.
As Scarlett Johansson ascends from pushover weakling to all-powerful untouchable, she becomes something less than benevolent overlord. She's out for revenge, running for her life, on a clock, and - for some reason- reaching out to old doctors to pass on her new information. We have only Morgan Freeman's Professor Norman to lead us through the chaos, and as the film crams the universe into 90-minutes, Lucy quickly becomes too big for the confines of the story, its setting, and its relative genre. Though Luc Besson keeps the wreckage candy colored and entertaining, the eye rolling is frequent. Lucy's content seems meant for a more overtly sci-fi environment, something more like the future realm of The Fifth Element (where, it's worth noting, another girl-shaped super weapon lurked) or Akira and less reliant on spliced in nature footage. As it is, it's an exhausting mash-up of ideas and influences. And if you dare to think beyond the moment? You'll deflate the whole damn thing.