Movie Review: Lucy (2014)

Plot synopsis: A woman (Johansson), accidentally caught
in a dark deal, turns the tables on her  captors
and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond
human logic.
Runtime: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Rated: R (for strong violence, disturbing
images, and sexuality)
Director: Luc Besson
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman,
Min-sik Choi
Action | Sci-Fi
In Lucy, a scared and clueless young woman (Scarlett Johansson) gets abducted by ruthless Taiwanese drug-lords. She is made to work as a mule for distributing their goods. When a part of a package she is carrying gets loose in her system, the full potential of her brain is chemically unlocked, allowing her to become more than a match for her enemies—and possibly also, for any other super-hero that has ever been conceived.

After she is mentally liberated, Lucy (for some reason) becomes a different person – determined, brave, philanthropic, and just a hair's breadth away from all-knowing. And in some damn impressive high-speed chase sequences, with awesome telekinetic displays of power, she can travel through the 4th dimension. With this transcendence, Lucy tears through the those advanced aliens from Independence Day vs. some anthill on earth on a ranch in Elmendorf, Texas.

Renowned French Director Luc Besson (La Femme Nikita, The Fifth Element) brings us a movie so venturesome that the sheer scope of its creativity will lose connection with most viewers very early on. Barring the performers and the inflated budget, it feels like a special release project for the Japanese market.

Ignoring for the sake of entertainment the nonsensical proposition that we only use ten percent of our brains (we do NOT: click here), the fact that the movie takes us from the Lucy (Australopithecus afarensis) of 3.2 million years ago through the days of the dinosaurs, into the old west, and then the middle ages—we are even more at a loss as to how and why a formerly dippy-headed girl would instantly be led to seek out Morgan Freeman's character, "Professor Norman," for the sake of transferring supposedly unknowable knowledge to humanity. While the script finds a way to explain this, it remains as crazy as it sounds.

The stunts, fights, and high-speed car chases are executed with a great deal of finesse. The narrative moves forward at nearly the same breakneck pace as that of the chase-downs, but Johansson's talents are better served in a well-defined character such as that of Black Widow in The Avengers rather than being funneled into the sketchy one we get in an unhinged Sci-fi effort like this where she basically stares off into space with stilted posturing in an effort to convey a god-like comprehension of the cosmos.

Lucy is quite ambitious in what it wants to accomplish, but also misguided. If you want a better movie with the same basic premise, go for 2011's Limitless.


  1. Through my childhood, my teens and twenties, I heard about the 'we only use 10% of our brains' thing. I think it wasn't until I had a good look at the Snopes Urban Myths site that I learned that it's just something that people say and commonly those who hear it repeat it to others. Through this process, the big wheel turns and another generation is mostly saying the same thing.
    I was surprised at the sheer number of these common sayings, some of which I had picked up and repeated myself, were still doing the rounds long after sinking in to become like 'contemporary wisdom', as inaccurate as it is.
    Movies based on these myths certainly don't help, they just confirm for people that what they've been repeating is the truth.

    "Ridiculous", I whisper to the uncaring walls.



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