Friday, August 1, 2014

Movie Review: "Lucy" (2014)

Director: Luc Besson
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
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Professor Norman (Morgan Freeman) has a hypothesis that we humans only use 10% of our brain's capacity. Furthermore, if we had the ability to access 100% of it, our abilities may be able to expand more than we could ever imagine. Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) is just your average young woman going to school in Taiwan, when her boyfriend of a week asks her to deliver a briefcase to a man in a hotel. Apprehensively, she approaches the front desk and asks for Mr. Jang (Min-sik Choi). All of a sudden, a group of his men come down to the lobby, grab her, and kill her boyfriend who was waiting outside. She finds out that a new synthetic drug, CPH4, is in the briefcase, and after she is knocked unconscious, she awakes to find that they have implanted it in her abdomen for her to smuggle into Europe. When she is attacked, the bag of drugs starts to leak, and it suddenly unlocks the entire potential of her brain, giving her super intelligence and eventually the ability to manipulate time and matter. 
"Life was given a billion years ago. What have we done with it?"
There are a lot of things wrong with this movie. The toughest question to answer is: where should we begin?

For a movie about using the entire capacity of the human brain, it's not very smart as a whole. It wants to think it is, but it's not. It tries really, really hard to be pseudo-intellectual, but it just comes off as self-righteous. On top of that, it's also nonsensical. It's littered with first year collegiate philosophical diatribe masked as something more important. It hits viewers over the head with the ideals of the director full steam and never stops. What Luc Besson, the director, is asking us to do is to suspend disbelief. The overall concept of the film is a fallacy, and we can get over that, but only to a point. It's different to imagine a world with orcs, or stormtroopers, or dragons, or a world that is completely imaginary versus taking what science has already taught us and completely abandoning it in a real world setting. It was very difficult for us to do, and even if we could get past it and accept their premise, it doesn't make this film any better. The entire length of this short movie, all I could think about was how it was pretty much laid out as if "The Tree of Life" had met "The Matrix."

"Lucy" is just dumb all in all. All the best scenes seem to be in the trailer, which promised a bitchin' revenge seeking Johansson taking names and kicking ass all in the name of "science." We would like to say the acting is good, but at this point, Morgan Freeman pretty much just shows up to read his lines, collect his paycheck, and then bounces. The choice to make Scarlett Johansson monotonous after getting drugged up is a poor one, in our opinion. Her acting alone isn't what's going to save this movie when coupled with the boring robot voice she uses. To us, this implies that intelligent people are sociopaths. She goes from being a human with emotions and feelings to being completely stoic with no inflection anywhere and is violent without remorse. Why does an influx in brain capacity make her unable to have emotion? Also, the choice to interweave National Geographic footage of nature and life throughout the movie was more distracting than helpful or informative. We don't need visual aids of rhinos doing it to understand how life gets procreated. It ended up being unintentionally comical. And speaking of comical, what was with the dialogue throughout this movie? There were a few points (think: mother's milk) in the film where I wanted to laugh out loud, but felt it was inappropriate to do so. It's also interesting to note that all of the people we went with to see this movie collectively thought Lucy ended up in "Her," not to give too much away.

This is going to be one of those movies where people annoyingly say "if you didn't like it, you just didn't understand it." Well, tough shit, you're wrong. We may not have liked what was being asked of us, to further a scientific fallacy all in the name of entertainment, but it's just not a very good movie on top of that. There is so much unused potential that it's just sad. It's clear to us that the overall theme of this movie is "drugs are actually good and can expand your mind." So, if you're still willing to see this in theaters, be sure to take peyote before viewing it. Trust us, it's okay, the movie made you!!

My Rating: 4.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 4/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 58%
Do we recommend this movie: No.
One year ago, we were watching: "Turbo"


  1. Bummer! I'd really thought it was going to be smarter. Thanks for saving me $12!

    1. This is definitely a DVD or OnDemand movie, especially since it's an hour and a half. $15 just seems insane, and if we didn't have MoviePass, we'd definitely be hurtin' after this film.