Scarlett Johansson goes all Miss Matrix on you as Lucy. Is it a great movie? No. Does it have entertaining action? Yes. Is she good? Yes. She made smart acting choices in an action movie with a far-fetched script and some cinema images that dropkick you back to the 1940s. Scarlett Johansson starts out as a victim, a young and clueless woman with a "Hello Kitty" T-shirt personality. Somehow she wound up in Taiwan dating a low-life rat who tricks her into helping him with a drug deal.
Luc Besson directed and wrote Lucy. He directed La Femme Nikita and The Fifth Element. He likes shapely young women, macho foreign men with that butch leather-clad Euro-look, car chases and slapping scenes in which we're focused on the hand before the person gets slapped. That's all here in Lucy. The car chase scene in Lucy totally worked for me.
Lucy contacts policeman Pierre Del Rio to help her nab the drug kingpin and bust the drug mules before they arrive at their destination. Her superhuman skills intimidate the cops at first but, eventually, they work with her. She works the closest with the macho Del Rio. He may not get to go horizontal with her but she sets him up to get a major raise and a promotion at work. Del Rio is well-played by Amr Waked. I'd like to see Amr Waked and Scarlett Johansson team up again in something just as action-filled and driven by the female lead but with a sharper movie script -- like 1996's under-appreciated The Long Kiss Goodnight starring Geena Davis and Samuel L. Jackson. She played a suburban mom stricken with amnesia whom we follow as we see her become a top secret agent with a gun. Like in The Long Kiss Goodnight, an ordinary woman gains strength and extraordinary skills. Lucy can handle men with guns. She's their match.
As for Scarlett Johansson, she does very well as Lucy. She finds a great vocal tone for the aggressive superwoman. She takes on a monotone, perfect for someone becoming computer-like, yet it's not a voice without color. It's not flat. And her movements as the super-brain take on a slight robotic edge. Even though she's killing villains, there's still a touch of compassion in her voice for good people. Like Del Rio and the Professor. She read the professor's 1000-page textbook in a few minutes and can recite it back to him. She can contribute to his scientific theories. She can Skype by simply using her mind. She doesn't need to touch computer keys. Professor has to work fast with Lucy. She wants to give him information, she wants to get the bad guys, and she may have only one day to live. Which means Morgan Freeman should pick up the pace a touch when he talks to her. You know how Morgan is.
As for my reference movie images from the 1940s, here's what I meant: Actor Choi Min-sik plays the feared drug kingpin, Mr. Jang. He's a cold-blooded killer.