I’m doing a movie review AFTER everyone else has seen the damned thing. Can you believe, I couldn’t get anyone in my family to go see Lucy with me? I finally saw it on my own alone at a dollar movie.
Why wouldn’t anyone see it with me? Because it wasn’t remotely real. We seem to have a double-standard when it comes to fantasy films vs science fiction. We saw Frozen and Maleficent as a family and we enjoyed both of those. Fantasy doesn’t have to be plausible. Science Fiction however does, and is therefore subject to severe scrutiny.
I wouldn’t say I loved Lucy, but I have to say I enjoyed bits of that movie. If you have to stare at one woman for an hour-and-a-half, Scarlett Johansson is a pretty good choice. If you liked the way she whupped ass in the Avengers, you’ll like her in this too. If you liked all that reality bending of the Matrix, this film could be a sequel to that.
No Kung Fu though. Pity. This film could have gotten away with a LOT of Kung Fu.
OK, I liked that it didn’t impose religious beliefs. It didn’t even acknowledge them! I also liked that it showed elements of evolution and cosmology as eye-candy, because we experience “awe and wonder” -no matter what Oprah says. But the movie got a lot of the stated facts annoyingly wrong. Life didn’t begin one billion years ago. It was at least 3.8 Billion years ago. Animals weren’t only around for millions of years, but for HUNDREDS of millions of years. I even winced when Morgan Freeman (who I think should know better) said that humans were at the “top” of the “evolutionary chain”. Ouch!
For those of you not in the know: evolution isn’t a chain or a ladder, and there is no ‘top’ either.
Then Freeman’s character describes his scientific theory as an untested hypothesis, which sounds to me an awful lot like conjecture. Scientific theories are not hypotheses! They’re not guesses, educated or otherwise. Aaaaggggg! I hate having to re-explain that all the time!
Hey Hollywood, would it kill ya to have a science adviser when you’re making Sci-Fi?
Worst of all, of course is the premise of the film. Lucy, (Scarlett Johansson’s character) is accidentally overdosed with a mystery drug called CPH4. For some reason, movie producers never seem to know anything about the periodic table. (Remember Unobtanium in the movie, Avatar?) Combining one Carbon and one Phosphorus atom with four Hydrogens isn’t that complex or mysterious. In real life, it’s a metabolic enzyme called
Anyway, because the director thinks the properties of this mystery molecule can’t be known, then maybe they could really cause the outrageous development of her activated intellect. We can’t prove that wouldn’t happen, right? So we take advantage of the ignorance of the audience so that anything sounds plausible.
The back story isn’t the real issue though. The problem is the premise, the old (and erroneous) adage that “the average human only uses 10% of their brain capacity, so imagine what we could do if we tap 100%?”
When questioned about this, the director said: “It’s totally not true. Do they think that I don’t know this? I work on this thing for nine years and they think that I don’t know it’s not true? Of course I know it’s not true!”
Thus Science Fiction becomes Science Fantasy.
In the movie, a gargantuan dose of this drug is accidentally released into Lucy’s system, and she begins to access more and more of her brain’s total efficiency. As she does, she acquires new powers; not just of perception or cognizance, but of psionics. She can visualize the fabric of the universe as if reality were an illusion constructed by the computers from the Matrix. And like that other movie, Lucy develops all the seemingly miraculous powers of Neo. She can even turn back time –manually. Consequently she becomes a sort of deity, complete with all the powers of Spock, the X-Men, and ET combined. All of that is not even on speaking terms with reality. But that’s still not my primary complaint. As I said, my issue is the premise of this film.
I always knew there was something wrong with that old saying. We only use 10% of our brains? That can’t be right. It didn’t make any sense, either from a material nor a theistic perspective, unless brains are just really inefficient. Everyone seemed to believe that when I was in school, everyone. And no one could tell where that claim first came from.
So I’m sitting in my 2nd level college course of biology for science majors, and the lecture is on the brain. The basal portions regulate glands and bodily functions, process sensory input, enable motor control, and so on, but all our wisdom, intelligence, and personalities emerge from the ‘thinking’ part of our brain, the cerebral cortex, or ‘grey matter’. So we use our entire brain. There is no portion of it which has no known and necessary function.
Then the lecture mentioned that intelligence can be correlated with the number of neurons, and that our neurons represent only 10% of all the cells in the human brain, as if we only use 10% of our brain cells for ‘thinking’. Once I heard that, I thought, “THAT’s where that came from!”
Not that anyone cares, because of course people would rather believe that if you unlock the mysteries of your own imagination, then you can wield telekinetic powers. Faith promises much the same thing.