It’s time, guys. It’s time to watch Lucy.
Much has been said about the scientific inaccuracies present in this film. More will be said in this review. Still, I must say up front that I had a great time watching this movie. If you love retarded bullshit, and I do, you’ll love this flick. It’s just non-stop idiocy punctuated by shots of Scarlet Johansson’s ass in a tight black dress. Morgan Freeman attempts to class up the proceedings but fails miserably. Still, at least they managed to turn it in with a runtime under 90 minutes. A true miracle in this age of “event” blockbusters that can never get to the damned point.
Anyway, without further delay: Lucy.
A cell. “Scarlet Johansson” appears on-screen. The cell divides. “Morgan Freeman” appears on-screen. The two cells divide, making four cells total. Mitosis, motherfuckers! This is science!
“Life began a billion years ago. What have we done with it?” A deep question to open a deep film. No, it’s not going to be answered in this movie.
Anyway, here comes the setup. Scarlet’s boyfriend of one week is a douchebag and tries to get her to go deliver a briefcase to an evil crime boss named Chang. When she refuses, he handcuffs the briefcase to her wrist in order to leave her with no choice. She enters the building and waits in the lobby for Chang as images of cheetahs flash on-screen. They’re symbolic and shit. It’s symbolism. The boyfriend is shot and killed outside while the crime boss’ minions drag her to the elevator. A cheetah walks off with its freshly killed gazelle. Cheetahs! Symbolism! Do you get it, guys?
That was just a preamble, though. Get ready! Hollywood Bullshit Creation System engaged! As the voice said in Einhander, “ALL SYSTEM GO!”
Morgan Freeman. Lizards and birds. One neuron means life. Two neurons mean movement. Hippos! Elephants! Most species use only 3-5% of their cerebral capacities! This is so informative. We’re in college! We’re learning about things! We’re learning about cerebral capacity!
CEREBRAL CAPACITY. CEREBRAL CAPACITY. CEREBRAL CAPACITY. OH GOD DO I HAVE A BONER RIGHT NOW.
Fighter jets. Military women. Stock market. Shuttle launch. Windmills! Dancing girls! It’s like a Billy Joel video re-envisioned by a retard. Oh, and Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam! Pyramids! The Rubik’s Cube! No Pogs, though.
Did you know that dolphins kick our asses because they use up to 20% of their CEREBRAL CAPACITIES? It’s true; it was stated in this movie. I noticed that Morgan Freeman didn’t bring up Ecco the Dolphin’s attack sonar in his PowerPoint presentation, though. I’d like a scientific explanation for how that worked. Anyway, Morgan ends with a question: “Are humans more concerned with having than being?” Deep, deep stuff.
Back with the crime boss, Scarlet opens the case to find four pouches of some dangerous new narcotic. The gangsters test it on a junkie before shooting him in the head. Scarlet is subsequently dragged away and put to sleep, awaking to find that she has had one of the four pouches implanted in her. A British gentleman delivers a mission briefing for her upcoming job as a drug mule while explaining the contents of the pouch: “The scientific term is CPH-4”. Of course it is. SCIENCE, MOTHERFUCKERS! SCIENCE! Am I really only 20 minutes into this movie?
Morgan Freeman here. I’m going to talk about Immortality vs. Reproduction. Back in the audience, back in reality, a low, deep rumbling is heard. It turns out to be our only warning for the movie sharting out a sequence of stock footage clips of tornados and volcanic eruptions. Self-sufficiency and self-management. More stock footage clips, this time of serene, favorable habitats. I’m 100% sober, but I think you need to be 10% sober to really enjoy this movie. Wait, did Morgan just talk about reproduction again?
Oh wait. Oh God. ANIMALS FUCKING. Those warthogs are really going at it. A very vigorous thrust. Now we have… closeups of animal births! What the fuck? I’m glad I waited an hour or two after my Spicy Chipotle Burrito before watching this film. I could have puked!
25 minutes in. CPH-4 CGI BREAKDOWN! AHHHHHH SHIT, BRO!!!!!!
Morgan Freeman is up there being boring again. Is this all the same lecture? Whatever, it’s boring! And I thought my rambling discussions of polynomial functions were bad!
“Let’s imagine what our life would be like if we could access… 20% of our brain’s capacity.” I swear to God, if you freeze frame at 26:14, Morgan Freeman looks visibly embarrassed by the line. The accompanying PowerPoint slide says that 20% allows you to “locate objects from a distance.” Yeah, I did that pretty successfully this morning when I located my dick whilst urinating. Man, I really am ahead of the curve! Unless they meant locating objects without seeing them. Well, I did that with my alarm clock when I reached over and turned it off upon waking! I’m a genius.
Morgan explains that the concept of cells existed in the ideas of the Greek Atomists. More notes: there are 1 billion neurons per human. 15% of those are activated. 40% activation is needed to control other people. Does he mean physically, mentally, or both? Who knows? Higher percentages lead to telekinetic abilities. At 100%? Morgan Freeman has no idea.
Scarlet has survived her ceiling breakdance. Bad guys are shot. There is a major post-murder pork bun binge. By the way, if you pull a bullet out of yourself with your bare hands, you still need to put it into a nearby glass so that it can make that cinematic “clink” in closeup. You always need to make sure that the bullet is placed in a sterile environment! It might get an infection!
Scarlet holds a taxi driver at gunpoint and makes a visit to a local hospital. There, she encounters futuristic signs that project Chinese characters into English for her to read. She accosts some surgeons and tells them to take the pouch of drugs out of her. While she waits for the procedure to complete (without anesthetic, by the way, because fuck that), she calls her mother on a surgeon’s smart phone. What follows is one of the greatest pieces of cinematic dialogue ever recorded, presented here in its entirety:
“I feel everything… Space. The air. The vibrations. The people. I can feel the gravity. I can feel the rotation of the Earth. The heat leaving my body. The blood in my veins. I can feel my brain; the deepest parts of my memory… the pain in my mouth when I had braces. I can remember the feeling of your hand on my forehead when I ran a fever. I remember stroking the cat; it was so soft… a Siamese with blue eyes and a broken tail… I remember the taste of your milk in my mouth. The room. The liquid… I just want to tell you that I love you, Mom, and Dad. And I want to thank you for the thousand kisses that I can still feel on my face. I love you, Mom.”
I’m writing that shit on my tombstone. Well, somebody else will write it, because I’ll be dead, but whatever. In all honesty, that is up there with the opening lines of Robot Holocaust in terms of all-time great moments in shitty movies. Jesus fuck. I… I think I need a minute.
CPH-4 turns out to be a drug released in small quantities during pregnancy to jumpstart the infant’s development. Fascinating. Scarlet gets X-Ray vision and sees the roots of a tree under the sidewalk. Now it’s time for a dual-wielding session! Scarlet vs. Taiwanese gangsters! In the aftermath, Scarlet purchases the Vulcan Mind Meld with her skill points from the level up and reads out the location of the other three drug mules from Chang’s brain. And since I forgot to do it earlier in this review, here it is:
“CHANG!” (you know, from the Tintin books.)
It’s taken me about an hour and a half to watch 45 minutes of this movie, as I keep pausing it to type up notes for this review and/or laugh uncontrollably for minutes at a time. It’s not my fault. When lines like: “I absorbed a large quantity of synthetic CPH-4 that will allow me to use 100% of my cerebral capacity; right now, I am at 28%” are fired off, what can one do but pause the movie, write it down for posterity, and laugh?
Oh wait, hang on, guys. Hang on. Scarlet just mentioned “the infinite capacity of a cell’s nucleus.” I just… I can’t. LOL times infinity, bro.
48 minutes in, and at least 28%
Scarlet rips off the automatic hair color change trick from Milla Jovovich in Ultraviolet. She starts shit-talking a French policeman on the phone; apparently, she attained the powers of clarivoyance with her last level up. Actually, though, the movie tells us immediately afterward that we’re at
What the fuck, Luc? You can’t develop new skills before the level up! What is this, SaGa Frontier?
So the other three drug mules are all rounded up due to Scarlet’s tip to the French police. Zzzzz. Meanwhile, she uses two laptops at once on the plane from Taipei to Paris. The flight attendants tell her to put them away, but she asks for a glass of champagne first.
Scarlet toasts “to knowledge.” There is no one in the vicinity.
Scarlet starts to disintegrate while sitting on the plane. You did not misread that last sentence. She just starts falling to pieces, particles wafting off of her into thin air. YOU’RE TEARING ME APART, LISA! She runs to the bathroom where she sees her face distorting and melting before her; in a panic, she wolfs down some of the remaining CPH-4. Slowly, she seems to get back to normal. Whew!
Oh wait, now she’s EXPLODING INTO FUCKING LIGHT! OH MY FUCKING GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!this is not enough exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Scarlet wakes up in a hospital, where she is accosted by the French police. Her newly developed powers of telekinesis allow her to incapacitate all of the officers except the one she talked to on the phone. She telekinetically unloads the rounds from his gun but forgets the one in the chamber, making the following scene where the policeman puts away the seemingly unloaded gun even more hilarious.
Next, we find out that Scarlet can see the invisible lines of movie magic that connect smart phones to the nearest cell tower. They streak up into the sky vertically in different colors, reminding me of the failing LCD screen on my old iMac. Wait, she is playing with the cell phone connection lines through the windshield? Oh dear.
The Taiwanese gangsters murder the guys guarding the drug mules while Scarlet takes off in one of the most incomprehensible car chases in recent memory. Her telekinetic abilities allow innocent drivers to have collisions with pure air. Or maybe not; it’s hard to tell. In the midst of all of this, the French policeman she has kidnapped states that he has no intention of dying. Scarlet says, “We never really die” as the movie pauses the soundtrack to deliver that gem. Christ, fellas. That’s a long way from Seagal’s “Death’s just another stage on the playground” from Ticker. Just keep the soundtrack going! I don’t want to hear this shit!
Showdown with the Taiwanese gangsters over the recently extracted CPH-4 pouches Scarlet needs to survive. She solves the conflict nonviolently. The gangsters live, while the Paris drivers will require significant medical attention. All is right with the world.
Morgan Freeman and Scarlet finally come face-to-face. It’s time for the movie’s bullshit “smart” moments. The remaining Taiwanese gangsters load up outside in broad daylight (on a university campus, no less!) while Scarlet amazes everyone with her 60% CEREBRAL CAPACITY. Cells exchange a thousand bits of information between them per second! Did you hear that? Per second!
Now she’s levitating a pen and dividing it into two floating pens. We’re coming full circle. Mitosis, motherfuckers! Wait, did she just say, “1 + 1 has never equaled 2”? What?
“There are, in fact, no numbers and no letters.” Nominalism lives!
Oh God. Now she’s projecting an image of a car driving down the street. She says that if you speed up the image “infinitely”, the car disappears. The car then disappears in a blink of light. Yep. “Time gives legitimacy to its existence. Time is the only true unit of measure. It gives proof to the existence of matter.” Fuck, Scarlet, I hope you got paid well for this.
Anyway, Morgan Freeman, a tenured university professor with several decades of research in the field, decides along with his colleagues to give Scarlet massive doses of the illegal drugs she obtained from the drug mules in order to allow her to reach 100%. She talks about the need to crack stubborn cells down to their nucleus or something. Well, it’s not like anything more ridiculous could happen in this movie, right? You know. Whatever, guys.
Oh wait, Scarlet just sucked several IV bags filled with CPH-4 dry and then vomitted light as a shootout erupted between the police and the gangsters in the hall.
Scarlet starts doing an Akira thing, with black ooze overtaking nearby electronics.
Scarlet makes the room disappear, leaving Morgan Freeman and his colleagues against a stark white background. She makes a “new generation of computer”; it reminds me of the Shadows from Babylon 5. I should really watch that show again.
A Taiwanese gangster fires a rocket at the room Scarlet is in; the shock of the impact warps her to the Eiffel Tower. She then starts teleporting to different locations along with her office chair while the movie keeps showing CGI representations of something biological. You know, something with science in it. Oh yeah, she does the Professor X time-stop thing in Times Square. Because why not, really?
Time. He flexes like a whore. Falls wanking to the floor…
Scarlet plays time backwards and ends up in Times Square back in the days of horse-drawn carriages. Further back, she finds American Indians. Further back, she finds fucking dinosaurs. She warps away from a reptilian predator and comes face-to-face with “Lucy”, the oldest known human fossil. A re-enactment of Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam occurs as Scarlet gives Lucy the seeds of knowledge that jumpstart humanity’s evolution. THIS IS NOT A JOKE.
Planetary bodies collide as we approach
Mitosis backwards. Travelling through wormholes. The Milky Way. Scarlet turns into a computery black. The Taiwanese crime boss points a gun at her disinterested head. Black tentacles oozing through cyberspace, outer space… every space. Tetsuo. Kaneda.
It is finished.
100%! MAXIMUM BULLSHIT ATTAINED!
Scarlet pulls a Lawnmower Man and is now EVERYWHERE. Oh shit, bro. Can she see me when I masturbate?
Scarlet’s CGI future-computer extends a tentacle arm to Morgan Freeman, giving him a sparkly black USB flash drive before disintegrating into dust. On the soundtrack, we hear the film’s final lines: “Life was given to us a billion years ago. Now you know what to do with it.”
I ain’t gonna lie. I’ve got no idea what to do, babe.
Shit, I’ve run out of pictures. Oh wait, I know!
Lucy is the comedy of the year. I wish more movies were this retarded, embarrassing, and insane. Sure, it’s a long way from Luc Besson’s Nikita, Leon (aka The Professional), and The Fifth Element, but it’s nice to see him making films again. I guess he also recently directed something called The Family, which I didn’t watch yet. I’ll check it out, but I suspect it won’t be as, uh, “interesting” as this film was.
All told, though, Lucy beats the shit out of terrible Hollywood “science” movies like Transcendence and Gravity. I mean, at least it wasn’t boring for the most part. Morgan Freeman’s lectures in the beginning were a bit much, but they were consistently saved by some ludicrous science and stock footage shots. This movie is the work of a genius; it’s just that the genius happens to be retarded.
Also, there’s a part where Scarlet Johansson is convulsing on the floor and the camera gives a downshirt shot of her breasts. So, you know, four stars.