Lucy (2014): I Just Couldn’t Get Past the Sketchy Science and Attempt at Philosophy

Admittedly, when I first heard about it, I didn’t give it high hopes, because I’m pretty sure the whole “using only 10% of your brain” thing is a myth.

At least the poster looked cool.

Unfortunately, Lucy (directed by Luc Besson) fell way below my expectations.

Lucy (Scarlett Johansson), a partying student studying in Taiwan, is tricked into delivering a briefcase to this Korean gang (I assume that’s what they were) and, through a series of events, ends up with this type of drug in her system that allows her to access more of her brain’s capacity. And she does cool and violent things with her newfound power.

Now, sketchy science about the brain’s capacity aside, it could’ve been cool.

I mean, that one movie with Bradley Cooper pulled it off well, even though the part about the whole brain capacity thing was probably wrong.

The plot was somewhat similar although I can’t quite remember what it was.

But even with the sketchy science aside, the plot of Lucy was just not all that interesting. By not that interesting, I mean that it was pretty typical and just a little confusing. There was nothing intriguing. I mean, I was watching it for the sake of finishing it.

And the cinematography. It was like the Tree of Life (directed by Terrence Malick) that had this forever-long scene about the life of Earth. Although it was pretty and I’m sure very well-edited, it was boring. Even while watching it, I just wanted it to be done.

I don’t necessarily mind long cinematography. Gravity (directed by Alfonso Cuaron) pulled it off. I was just fine watching pretty space pictures while Sandra Bullock floated around. The thing about Lucy was that it kept feeling like it was supposed to mean something, but I just wasn’t getting any meaning from it.

I have to admit I didn’t quite understand the hype about it though. I thought personally the plot was a bit dull. But the cinematography was gorgeous.

That brings me to another topic: philosophy.

Lucy kept feeling like it was trying to relay to me some deep, philosophical meaning that was supposed to change my life. I mean, they address the beginning of life, the meaning of humanity, the beginning of the universe, all with Morgan Freeman narrating it.

But other than appreciation for Morgan Freeman’s talent for narration, I didn’t even feel an inkling of sentiment, philosophy–nothing.

Okay, fine, I’m a little shallow and I don’t always do well with abstract thoughts. Maybe it was just my issue in not understanding philosophy.

However, the science. The sketchy science that I’ve been avoiding talking about for the past four hundred words.

It wasn’t the really the sketchiness that made me grimace. I mean, science fiction has to test the boundaries of science, right? It’s how new ideas form, how it gets interesting.

But Lucy just didn’t convince me of this science. If it was a movie from the 70s, then maybe, sure, I can let it go, but it just seems like it was trying too hard for the modern, cutting-edge science from researchers that did this study, I don’t know, like, last year.

It was just that Lucy emphasized the science aspect while failing to convince, let alone impress, me with whatever they were talking about. Just because Morgan Freeman narrates it doesn’t mean it can convince me.

I am not some expert in any particular field of science, I am not even remotely an expert in anything. So I feel like a movie should at least make me think that this might be possible, to a certain degree. At least it should make sense. Whatever was said in Lucy just didn’t make much sense to me.

Conclusion: Although Scarlett Johansson is really good at being cool and pretty badass and Morgan Freeman makes a wonderful lecturer and scientist in awe, Lucy failed to entertain with a typical plot line and unconvincing science, all while trying to tie it together with some kind of philosophy about humanity through long scenes of nature that just dragged on. 2/10.

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