“Life was given to us a billion years ago. Now you know what to do with it.”
Is Lucy the result of a scientifically based theory or should she join the club of “by chemicals mutated superheroes” like Spiderman, The Hulk and Captain America? We can remove the first item of the list because the theory of us only using 10% of our brains is complete nonsense. That would mean that there’s 90% of unexplored territory for grabs in our upper chamber. The risk of brain injury shrinks. And would our skull not be too wide for that small part? Isn’t it true that evolution slightly adjusts things so that there’s an optimum use of certain features? The second item comes closer to the phenomenon of “Lucy”, just that no startling changes were made. No flashy superheroes costume or superhuman attributes such as web spraying additives. Besides the fact that Lucy turns into an emotionless and soulless highly intelligent being who assesses situations in a rational and logical manner, there’s nothing of substance that changes her.
The beginning of “Lucy” however, is highly entertaining and intriguing. The fact that Lucy is the victim of a cunning devised Korean plan with tourists used as living containers for transporting a chemical drug, was really original. That the drug, with the not so sexy sounding name CPH4, ends up in Lucy’s bloodstream by harshly violence and increases the rate of usage of the brains, sounded plausible. Certainly the statement of an expert in that field (Lucy had at that time not enough brain power to know that) on this stuff helps with that. The synthetic drugs seems to be the same as the substance which a pregnant woman produces for the fetus,so it will have the energy to build up a bone structure. “For a baby it has the force of an atomic bomb” he claims dramatically. You can imagine what that cocktail of CPH4 does to Lucy’s body.
Not only it is a pleasure to look at Scarlett Johansson but it’s also fun admiring her acting talent. She demonstrates a whole palette of emotions : from innocent, frightened and distraught to ruthlessly calculated and cold-blooded. In “Her” it was her sultry voice that enchanted you and in “Lucy” her natural beauty enraptures you. “Beauty is the purgation of superfluities” as Michelangelo quoted. In my opinion Johansson purged a lot of superfluities for sure. And in this film, it’s not only her looks that makes men dizzy and their head swoon. One look is enough to knock them out. Morgan Freeman just plays himself again and guides you through the story with the full explanation of the phenomenon that we are witnessing, complete with pictures from the animal kingdom and a prehistoric hunter as illustrations. Again a minor contribution to the greater whole as in “Transcendence”. What a pitty ! And those are the two protagonists whose story lines go together in a parallel way. The audience is thrown back and forth between those two story lines.The old wise man, a role to play by Morgan, and Johansson as übermensch on the other side of the world.
Strange but true, as the percentage counter increases and Lucy supposedly uses more of her brain, it’s up to the viewer to gradually reduce the use of brain cells, because the evolution Lucy undergoes becomes incredible implausible. Becoming more intelligent is automatically linked with the development of paranormal abilities and the reducing of emotional values. The phone call at the beginning of the film still had a high emotional value because the drug wasn’t working yet at full power. The development of psychic abilities however, sees to it that the entertainment value of the action-rich parts become valueless. What’s so exciting being confronted with an invincible person whose abilities seem almost alien ? Beside the thrilling car chase through Paris, most scenes were pretty somnolent. A snap or a glance was enough to take out the opponents. And the denouement is pretty surreal, with the comprehensive knowledge being summarized on a USB-stick. Apparently that universal knowledge wasn’t that big of a deal.
Despite the implausible and nonsensical content sometimes, it’s still an extremely fascinating movie. Especially the Tarantino-esque fragments that occur here and there, were much appreciated. Like a patient who gets a few bullets in his body after Lucy made a quick analysis of his health state. Coarse, shocking and gross, but also absurdly humorous. However, I never want to reach that level of intelligence because it will cause loss of deep human feelings like emotion, pleasure and joy.