Lucy follows the surreal day of a woman studying in Taiwan. One of numerous ex-pats in Taipei, Lucy is looking only to go home and study for exams. But her short-term ex-pat boyfriend forcibly ropes her into a courier role that quickly goes south.
She had only to deliver a briefcase that her boyfriend handcuffed to her. But she ends up being dragged into the middle of multiple murders. With death surrounding her, she is “offered” a job and then finds herself waking up with a large packet of CPH4, the latest hip drug, sewn into her abdomen.
Along with three others, she is being sent home where people will meet her to remove the packet of drugs. Any betrayal of discretion will result in the death of her extended family. But it didn’t come to that.
Lucy finds herself in a cell, rebuffing the molestations of one of the Chinese men holding her in the cell. He beats her which results in the packet rupturing in her abdomen and the drug flooding her body. She becomes superhuman, accessing cognitive abilities that mere mortals do not have.
A parallel storyline unfolds of a professor who has long theorized about the abilities humans would have if only they could use more than 10% of their cerebral cortex. Lucy is actually proving his theory with her drug-induced transformation.
She tracks down the three other drug mules to gather their packets of drugs and rendezvous with the professor. The professor has gathered other experts in the field to meet with Lucy. The whole point of life, according to the professor, is to pass on knowledge.
Lucy struggles to do just that before she expires. Lucy morphs into a computer, which hands over her knowledge in the form of a flash drive. Lucy is no more in our limited human sense, but indicates that she is everywhere.
Lucy is an odd film, based on the theory that we only use a small portion of our brains. The film focuses on the idea that life has two aims: immortality and reproduction. We are limited by our paltry use of our cognitive functions. If we were set free of our limitations, we would be able to manipulate others, matter, and time itself.