Proof a Little Knowledge is a Bad Thing: Lucy (2014)

“The mind is a terrible thing to waste. Knowledge is power. Platitudes are smart. I think I’ll make a movie!”—Besson

From the trailer Lucy looked like it might be an interesting movie. For the most part it was. Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) gets an overdose of some drugs that increase her brain’s functioning. A’ight. This extra “functioning” amounts to super powers. Cool. The more her brain works, the more powers she has. Sweet. She kicks ass, particularly those who implanted the stuff in her. Noice! She seeks help from Morgan Freeman (Duh! Who wouldn’t in her situation. He’s a professor of brain studies at some university and has a soothing voice to help calm your nerves, which are all ablaze ‘cos of the situation.)

At this point you start to wonder, where are we going with all of this? This is where Besson kicks you in the throat. He either watched too many Nova reruns, or got a hold of the Eyewitness Big Book on the Brain, or both. Therein he was inspired by some of the fun facts about the universe, the brain, pregnancy hormones, and international jurisdiction laws. This mixture cooked up the moral of the story:

“We were given life a billion years ago, and now you know what to do with it.” —Lucy

Yeah. Go to Taipei. They’ve got the good shit there. It’ll give you superpowers. Better still, if you overdose, the side effect is evolution to a higher plane of existence. Take that, potheads! Yeah, ODing on marijuana never killed anyone, but did it ever cause someone to evolve? Put that in your bong and smoke it.

Lucy could have been a decent action film with a strong female lead. But rather than make a straight forward movie, Besson, following the French school of filmmaking, bogged it down with clever French philosophy, i.e. pretentious bullshit. Aldous Huxley expressed it best when he wrote: “Finding bad reasons for what one believes for other bad reasons—that’s French philosophy.”

Lucy is mostly worth watching, just not paying for. Wait for it to come out on Netflix.

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