Lucy

A lot of people have a problem with the film Lucy, since the plot hinges around the myth that people only use ten percent of their brain capacity. The truth is, no one knows for certain how much of our brains we use. Some say it’s less than ten percent; others say it’s closer to one hundred. I think it varies from person to person, as anyone who has ever clicked a “comments” button can attest to. Or, has a Facebook page, for that matter. Then again, maybe some peoples one hundred percent, is another persons ten percent.

When you watch any film, you have to suspend a certain amount of disbelief. Sometimes it’s ten percent, sometimes it’s one hundred percent. Every movie has its own reality, especially those in the science fiction genre; the key word being “fiction.” Do we question the reality of zombies in World War Z, time travel in Looper, faster than light travel in Star Trek, or giant monsters that arise from a crack in the ocean floor in Pacific Rim? And those are just four films I randomly spotted on my shelf. Every movie creates a world with parameters–the good ones stick to the rules they created. That is what Luc Besson did with Lucy.

If you have seen the trailer for Lucy, you pretty much know the basic plot. Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) is an American student living in Taipai. Mr. Jang (Choi Min-sik) is a Korean drug lord who forces Lucy to be a mule by having the drugs placed inside her by a surgeon. The bag bursts, and voila! The action begins.

The drug is a synthetic form of a chemical that mothers produce during the sixth week of pregnancy. The chemical helps the fetus form the bones in its body. In Lucy’s case, one of the effects is it makes her way smarter.

Upon reaching the end of the Internet, Lucy comes to the conclusion that the one person that may be able to help is Professor Samuel Norman (Morgan Freeman). But even the world’s foremost expert on brain stuff has to admit that what happens next is speculation, and more than a bit of science fiction.

Amr Waked plays Captain Pierre Del Rio of the Paris Police. Del Rio acts as the surrogate for the audience. He asks the sort of “What the hell is going on here?” questions we all have at one point or another during the movie.

You may recognize Waked from such films as; Syriana, Contagion, and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. In addition to being a great actor, he has a very interesting face. I think he looks like a cross pollenation of Antonio Banderas and Vincent Cassel. It’s a good look. He should keep it.

Lucy, the movie, borrows elements from the works of Stanley Kubrick, Terrence Malick, and Christopher Nolan, but at the end of the day, it’s a a Luc Besson film. I think that’s a good thing. It’s hard to believe that it’s been twenty-five years since the release of La Femme Nikita. Since then, Besson has written, directed, and/or produced Leon, The Fifth Element, and the Taken, and Transporter series of films. There are those who may say that some of Besson’s movies are more focused on stylistic, over the top action than substance, but I say, “So What?” At least it’s interesting style.

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