Enjoying the gonzo action yarn Lucy
hinges on your ability to accept the film’s central premise: that human beings can only use 10 percent of the brain’s capacity, and that unlocking the remaining power of the mind would mean unleashing tremendous power. That, of course, is bullshit, a pseudoscientific myth often falsely attributed to Einstein that has been debunked time and time again. But the team behind Lucy
sure knows how to blow shit up and make Scarlett Johansson look hot, all the while tossing in enough distracting imagery to help you forget the movie is soaked in stupid. The title character in Lucy
is a naive college kid in Taiwan duped into delivering a briefcase to a shady drug lord (Oldboy
’s great Choi Min-sik), who promptly knocks her out, puts a sack of experimental drugs in her stomach and sends her off for delivery. After a savage beating, the package breaks, and Lucy finds her brainpower exponentially growing, for convoluted reasons the movie doesn’t bother to explain. How do we know her mind is expanding? Well, each time Lucy evolves, a percentage flashes across the screen (she starts at 7 percent, poor thing), accompanied by footage of Morgan Freeman’s Professor Norman lecturing students on what would happen if human brain function evolved. Yet writer-director Luc Besson seems to know everything in Lucy
is nonsense. This is a movie of sadistically pure imagination, a goofball riot of violence, humor and unapologetic weirdness. It opens with the origins of life itself and culminates in a 20-minute shootout intercut with a psychedelic voyage through time and space. Is it a good film? Ha. But it’s entertaining as hell. Lucy
requires 5 percent of your brain. And that’s just fine.