Reviews TV & Film

Why I loved ‘Lucy’

Although Scarlett Johansson plays a big part in the film, one very intriguing scientific theory was the true main character of Luc Besson’s “Lucy.” The theory that humans only use up to 10 percent of their cerebral capacity takes center stage, providing the audience with an interesting concept to think about.

Story by Forrest Milburn

While some reviewing the film might dwell on petty details, I won’t do that. I don’t like or dislike a film just because of one certain actor (even though Johansson was fantastic) or because of the actors’ wardrobes. I like or dislike a movie because of cinematography, plot development and acting. And I sure liked this one.

Scarlett Johansson stars as Lucy in Luc Besson's "Lucy," a sci-fi action that plays with the theory of humans using more than 10 percent of their brain. Photo courtesy of
Scarlett Johansson stars as Lucy in Luc Besson’s “Lucy,” a sci-fi action that plays with the theory of humans using more than 10 percent of their brain. Photo courtesy of

Starring Johansson as the film’s main character, “Lucy” is a futuristic action-thriller set in present-day Taipei, Taiwan. While also shooting parts of the film in New York City and in France, Besson told The China Post that he chose Taipei as the main location for the film, because he loved “the town, the feeling and the people,” ever since he first visited the city to promote his movie “The Fifth Element” almost 20 years ago.

An American student living in Taiwan, Lucy gets caught up with some big, bad Taiwanese drug lords who literally stuff bags of blue drugs into her stomach. After finding out that she’s nothing more than discreet transportation, two men beat her up in a cell where she’s stored before being shipped off to a European location along with the drugs. The men leave her bleeding internally, where large portions of the drug are given free reign to travel throughout her bloodstream.

As the drug, known as the synthetic version of CPH4, a natural energy-providing chemical found during pregnancy, enters her bloodstream, she begins to gain unprecedented access to her brain. Once she passes the 10 percent mark, she begins to gain total control over her own body, as well as other abilities. Later, she’s able to control other people’s bodies, allowing her to stop them and throw them around at any moment.

As the film progresses, Lucy moves away from focusing on herself, including pain, and moves towards providing her gained knowledge to future generations. Helping Lucy out on her path to passing on her knowledge is a professor who’s devoted his life to researching the “10 percent” theory, played by Morgan Freeman.

Morgan Freeman and Scarlett Johansson star in Luc Besson's "Lucy." Photo courtesy of
Morgan Freeman and Scarlett Johansson star in Luc Besson’s “Lucy.” Photo courtesy of

Although I’ve already seen movies that revolve around the idea of humans only using 10 percent of their brain, that whole idea and its plot development wasn’t the reason why I liked “Lucy.”

In fact, the main reason I liked the film was because it was just, frankly, beautiful. Besson used spectacular video clips of animals in their natural habitat, where he’d compare them side-by-side with video clips of humans in their natural habitat, obviously to make a point. The imagery was crystal clear, pristine and surreal.

That, alongside the well-done development of the film’s plot, is enough to make me want to see the movie a second time. Although the ending felt rushed, it was still a great experience.

I caught myself wondering, what would I do if I could access 100 percent of my brain? Maybe I would lose my ability to care for others, focusing only on self-preservation. I even asked myself how a heightened intelligence would affect my very nature as a human. From the film, I was pressed to question this and a lot more. As a species, have we really done a whole lot other than kill other? Not really. But, would anything be any different if humans could reach back into the deepest parts of our brain? I honestly don’t think it would.

The film asks the audience all of this and more, and I didn’t stop questioning myself and wondering about the potential outcomes of a more intelligent world, even when I got into my car. But if you want to make up your own mind, and if you like the idea of watching gorgeous imagery and good acting, go see “Lucy” for yourself.

Featured image courtesy of

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