REVIEW: I Love Lucy — and Luc, and Scarlett


It’s a fallacy, long rebuffed by science, that humans use only about 10% of their brain power. But it is true about most summer movies. Pouring their wizardry into special effects and well-choreographed fights, the warm-weather action films rarely challenge the viewer with grand notions or beautifully baffling imagery. Viewers who have invested two hours in the superhero movie often leave feeling entertained but somehow dumber.

Luc Besson’s Lucy to the rescue. The French writer-director-producer’s new movie, about a woman empowered and imperiled by the explosion of a powerful new drug in her nervous system, kicks ass and takes brains. Besson creates a heroine whose rapidly expanding abilities make her the world’s most awesome weapon. In the process he promotes Scarlett Johansson from an indie-film icon and Marvel-universe sidekick to the movie superwoman she was destined to be. Taking place in less than a day, while simultaneously synopsizing three…

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