Written by Megan LaBruna
Lucy. If the first thing that pops into your mind is our first human ancestor, you’re not far off. The new movie of the same moniker by Luc Besson hit theaters this Friday. The plot centers around a woman who has had a pouch of drugs placed into her abdomen to transport, but it breaks open and the affects of the drug allow her to access more of her brain than has ever been humanly imaginable.
The title character, Lucy, played by the lovely Scarlett Johansson, follows that of her current characters: beautiful, smart and lethal. Granted, she doesn’t start out that way. Lucy is studying abroad and gets roped into delivering a case to a Mr. Jang (Min-sik Choi) by her scum bag boyfriend of a week. Inside the case is a new drug Mr. Jang hopes to release on the markets around the world called CPH-4. To avoid being another dead body on the floor, Lucy is “offered” a job as a drug mule, carting the latest craze since cocaine home with her in her stomach. A swift kick to the gut by a disgruntled guard causes excessive amounts of the pouch to leak into Lucy’s blood stream. The resulting affect allows her to unlock areas of the brain no human has ever accessed before.
Insert Professor Norman (Morgan Freeman). Through his enlightening seminar the audience is informed that the average human being uses 10% of their brain and that dolphins are the only known living animal to use 20% of their brain. He explains his theory of what would happen at different stages of brain development, stating that at 20% the brain would be able to control waves such as radio frequencies, television etc. He also puts forth the idea that a person using 20% capacity would be able to control others. Lucy manages to get in contact with Professor Norman and confirms his theory, while rudimentary is in fact correct. She also asks his advice about what to do with all the knowledge since **Spoiler Alert** she’s going to die from the quantities of CPH-4 she has ingested. He suggests she share the knowledge she has accumulated and pass it on just like any simple cell does.
With an increase in knowledge, there is unfortunately a decrease in the needs and wants of the average human. Basically, everything that makes us human is no longer needed with increased brain capacity. That being said, she teams up with French detective Pierre Del Rio (Amr Waked) as both a reminder and way to stop the additional pouches of drugs from being delivered around the world.
I have to say, I was very impressed with how Scarlet Johansson managed to express her fading connection to humanity. Throughout the movie her voice became more noticeably monotone and her facial expressions and body language transform from that of someone afraid and alone to someone cold and indifferent. Her last real human connection is made during a phone call to her mother, she hasn’t yet confirmed her impending doom, but she somehow knows she probably won’t survive. During this last conversation she explains she can remember everything from her life right down to the thousands of her mother’s kisses she can still feel on her cheeks.
Mr. Jang is not going to sit idly by while Lucy foils his plan to spread CPH-4, so he and his army of men take down any obstacles standing in the way of them getting to Lucy, even when she’s taking up Professor Norman’s suggestion and passing on her knowledge. It’s an interesting perspective that while on one side of a door, the human race is attempting to unlock the mysteries of the universe and enlighten themselves to the highest extent, while on the other side, they’re shooting each other dead over drugs and money. Such simple folk we are at 10%.
Honestly the movie is both entertaining and interesting. It goes beyond the realm of the normal action movie and asks audiences to expand their imagination. Besson also adds a little extra uneasiness in the beginning scene by splicing images of a gazelle being hunted by a pack of cheetahs. The metaphor to Lucy’s predicament is highly intriguing and really elevates the entire scene. If you’re looking for a summer movie that will leave you with a lot to reflect upon long after the credits roll, then I highly recommend you check out Lucy, in theaters now!