Punchy film which holds your attention

Morgan Freeman as Samuel Norman and Scarlett Johansson as Lucy. Photo: PA Photo/UPI Media.

Morgan Freeman as Samuel Norman and Scarlett Johansson as Lucy. Photo: PA Photo/UPI Media.

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Derriere-numbingly long films may be all the rage but at a lean 89 minutes, Lucy is all the better for bucking this Hollywood trend.

Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) is a carefree student living in Taiwan, who is tricked by her new boyfriend Richard into doing his dirty work and carrying a briefcase, jam-packed with potent new drugs, into a hotel for him.

But there’s no time for pleasantries here and before the concierge has greeted Lucy, Richard has been dispatched and Lucy is held hostage by the neighbourhood’s merciless mob of local drug lords headed up by the unsparing Mr Jang (Choi Min-sik).

Waking up, Lucy discovers that the mob has taken the liberty of surgically implanting thousand of pounds worth of a deadly blue drug, CPH4, which increases the user’s brain capacity, into her stomach.

Much has been made of the film’s neurological theory not stacking up, but scientific soundness isn’t the mission here – entertainment is.

And while there are some rather odd moments - the flashes to a prehistoric Lucy, the strained conversation Lucy has with her mum and the missed opportunity to kill Mr Jang while she can – Lucy is nevertheless a punchy film, which demands your attention every minute of the way.