Monday, September 15, 2014


I knew from the trailers that Lucy was going to be trouble for me. On the one hand, it looked like a fun action movie with superhuman powers thrown in, with two top-notch actors in the lead roles. On the other hand, the trailer also included extensive talk about the myth that people only use 10 percent of their brains. As this is egregiously untrue, I knew that I would have to work hard to ignore that part of the plot in order to enjoy the movie.

Unfortunately, there is no way to separate the 10% malarky from the rest of the plot. It is absolutely integral to everything that happens. This is aggravating. This would be quite a good movie if it weren't using junk science as the entire basis of the story, but that's analogous to saying that eating a wormy apple would be quite pleasant if it weren't full of worms. I tried very hard to hear "magic magic magic" every time someone talked about brain percentage, but it's just not possible to handwave away the central conceit of the film.

Other than that, the film does have some positive qualities. Scarlett Johansson gives a solid acting performance as the titular Lucy, and is excellent in her action scenes as well. This is what we expect from her at this point. Similarly, Morgan Freeman performance as Professor Norman is what we expect from him - charismatic and engaging. Unfortunately, the entire point of his character is to spew horrible lies.

Why am I so upset about the 10% thing? Because it willfully promotes ignorance and misinformation. The movie presents this subject seriously and with a scientific veneer, and the general moviegoing public doesn't have enough science background to be skeptical of it. This movie takes an idea that was never true in the first place, and which has been thoroughly debunked by actual neuroscience, and presents it back to a gullible (or just trusting) public, to the detriment of all of us. Yes, movies are just entertainment, but they are also part of the public consciousness, and purposely reintroducing blatant lies is a vile thing to do.

The sad thing is that this would have been a perfectly fun fantasy-ish sci-fi film without the crap. It still would not have been great cinema, but if the drug were explained as a magical thing then at least the film would not have been so incredibly, insultingly frustrating.

Performance: 3.5/5
Plot: 1/5
Production: 3/5
Overall: 1.5/5
Bechdel: Fail
Reverse-Bechdel: Pass
Mako Mori: Fail
What are these?

1. Guardians of the Galaxy
2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
3. X-Men: Days of Future Past
4. Edge of Tomorrow
5. The Fault in Our Stars
6. Lone Survivor
7. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
8. The Wind Rises
9. The Lego Movie
10. Lust For Love
11. The Grand Budapest Hotel
12. Pompeii
13. Hercules
14. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
15. Maleficent
16. I, Frankenstein
17. Monuments Men
18. Knights of Badassdom
19. Divergent
20. Brick Mansions
21. 300: Rise of an Empire
22. Godzilla
23. RoboCop
24. Winter's Tale
25. Transcendence
26. Noah
27. The Legend of Hercules
28. Need For Speed
29. 3 Days to Kill
30. Lucy
31. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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