‘Lucy’ takes artistic license too far

Jackson French

“Lucy,” a new sci-fi action movie from Luc Besson, is based on the false idea that we only use 10 percent of our brains. The film brings flashy action and effects to a story overloaded with philosophical nonsense.

Though slickly executed, a number of problems weigh “Lucy” down. According to neuroscientist Christian Jarrett, writer for Wired magazine, the idea that we only use one tenth of our brain is just a myth. It’s difficult to suspend your disbelief for a film that is so deeply rooted in the implausible.

Writer and director Besson’s ideas about human potential are laughable at best. Tack onto this a nonsensical message about the meaning of human existence that will only seem profound to the drunk or inattentive, and you have an action movie that’s hard to take seriously.

Armed with a complete disregard for plausibility, “Lucy” blends half-baked psychological thrillers with well-engineered action. The action is devoid of tension because Lucy can do virtually anything. By the 40-minute mark, the black-suited villains responsible for making Lucy a reluctant drug mule aren’t even a threat to her anymore. Gunfights between her allies and her enemies are meaningless because the audience has been witnessing her invincibility for the last half hour.

The drugs in Lucy must have an effect on personality as well because the more her brain evolves, the more robotic and harder to like she becomes. Early on, she coldly guns down at least two innocent people in her way and put more in unnecessary danger as the plot unfolds. Even when she’s helping her friend, played by Analeigh Tipton, she sounds like she’s doing it to show off her newly-acquired medical knowledge rather than out of a desire to help.

“Lucy” is certainly ambitious and stylish. Unfortunately, its lack of coherence, absence of charisma and unbelievable premise ruin this exploration of human potential.