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Lucy (2014 film) review


Now, let’s get things started with the luring creation of Luc Besson’s Lucy, featuring Scarlett Johansson: where human beings only use 10 per cent of their brain capacity.
Imagine what it would be like if we could access all of it?

A woman is accidentally caught in a dark deal, turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.

Initial release: July 25, 2014 (USA)
Director: Luc Besson
Running time: 89 minutes
Music composed by: Éric Serra
Cast: Scarlett Johansson
Genres: Science Fiction, Adventure Film, Action Film

We say, amazing! Nothing new on this science fiction film, coz in reality, we humans somehow much do use our brains, don’t we? Well, hope you do.

Now, you might want to choose the path to being annoyed with that Besson starts with a total myth. Or we could give him a pass – because the movie is fiction after all.

The more relevant question, though, is how much of your own brain you should use when watching Lucy, a truly bizarre if often entertaining romp through neuroscience, biochemistry, anthropology and basically the entire human experience, in 89 minutes.

How about seeing the xylem and phloem tissues running up and down the tree? Are you on drugs? Seriously.

Here’s another question: just how much of his brain did Besson access when writing the dialogue?

The director knows his way around a camera and you can argue about the merits of the storyline, but the dialogue often sounds like it was produced by a primitive computer. It’s hammy and clunky.

The name Lucy? It alludes to the well known fossilized skeleton of a female assessed to have existed in the ballpark of three million years ago. Thank heavens that primitive lady has now developed – into a faded blonde, air-headed understudy or something to that affect, living in Taiwan.

That’s where we meet Johansson’s Lucy, whose boyfriend forces her to deliver a mysterious briefcase to a shady gang boss. Turns out, it’s a drug delivery – a shiny blue crystal called CPH4. Lucy and a few other unfortunates are the chosen mules, doomed to fly to Europe with packages implanted in their stomachs. But there’s a hitch. Roughed up by thugs, Lucy takes a few punches to the stomach and the drug starts leaking into her system.

Suddenly, she’s writhing uncontrollably – on the ceiling, no less. And then things get really strange.

The drug’s effect is to enhance Lucy’s brain capacity. As it starts to climb – 20 per cent, 30 per cent and so on – Lucy can suddenly speak Chinese. She can shoot six guys at a time. She can hear, see and feel everything. She remembers being an infant. She calls her mother back home: “I remember the taste of your milk in my mouth,” she says, ­tearfully.

Because she’s becoming so smart – Lucy uses two laptops at a time, furiously unlocking the secrets of science – she realises that her condition means that she has only 24 hours to live. Here’s where you shouldn’t get bogged down in any attempt at logical analysis. As in, if Lucy can control movement and space and time, why can’t she expand her 24- hour lifespan? And really, why does she need to fly to Paris on a commercial airline?

Oh yes, Paris. Lucy heads there to meet Professor Norman (Morgan Freeman, in that gravelly voiced, level-headed role you’ve seen him play so many times), an expert on cerebral capacity.

Simultaneously, she’s trying to recover all the drug packets, with the help of a police detective (Amr Waked) who really doesn’t know what’s hit him but they do have an awesome car chase together.

Professor Norman advises Lucy that as she approaches 100 percent brain capacity – and death – she should do something useful with all the precious knowledge she’s ­acquiring.

Then, it gets even stranger.


We won’t give away the frantic ending – honestly, we’re not sure we could, even if we tried. At a certain point, the best strategy may be to just sit back, listen to the pounding music, admire those bright colours and just shut that brain of yours down entirely.



Or could this be an Apple-financed movie in preparation for Mac Pro and OS X Yosemite launching for September?