in 1974 Lucy, also known as Australopithecus, was found in Hadar (also spelled Adda Da’ar; Afar “treaty [ahdi] stream [d’ar]”), a village in Ethiopia, on the southern edge of the Afar Triangle. She is considered the oldest known example of a prehistoric hominid woman, at 3.2 Million years old. The film, Lucy, starts out with a quick look at this archaeological character, as a way of comparing our evolutionary progress to her, as the film’s character Lucy would be to us.

Scarlet Johannsen in Lucy

Scarlet Johannsen in Lucy

Although this film was reasonably fun to watch, the science related to the story left a lot to be desired. The initial creation of the prehistoric Lucy wasn’t very good. After having seen the new Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, this ape-like hominid looked like a badly done man (or woman) in an ape suit in comparison. The film’s script suffers from some of the same lack of attention to detail.

In the film, as Lucy reaches 20% of her mental capacity, she becomes very robotic, supposedly losing her humanity in the expansion of her intellect. This is so inconsistent with the other material they put forward. The film specified that dolphins already use approximately 20% of their brains’ capacity. If that’s the case, we would probably do just the opposite of losing our humanity, we would probably celebrate it. If the dolphin is an example of a creature using 20% of its brain, as opposed to our less-than-10%, then that would certainly be the case, since the dolphin is a creature that delights in its mere existence. Scarlett Johannson (as Lucy) instead became distant, emotionless, and in many ways quite boring.

A similar problem was seen recently in Johnny Depp‘s performance in Transcendence, where he became equally robotic as he transcended. I see no reason that enlightened beings would lose their humanity. In my mind, a being with a more expanded view of the human condition would feel deeper sadness perhaps, and definitely a more compelling sense of humor at the absurdity of our “concerns.”

Morgan Freeman in Lucy

Morgan Freeman in Lucy

Morgan Freeman is underutilized in Lucy, which isn’t surprising. The actor could have been used to educate the public on all sorts of cool science, but again, the film fell short.

There isn’t a lot to the storyline of Lucy. Bad guy puts drugs in a young woman. Drugs leak and turn the girl into a science experiment. Bad guys chase the girl, while the girl tries to get to scientist to give them some unspecified knowledge. That’s about it. The rest of the movie is special effects, and although most of theirs are decent, the bar has been raised, and a wooden performance surrounded by a lot of special action effects is enough to get through the day, but no one will remember the storyline a month from now.

This is not to say there aren’t fun moments in Lucy. There are. I just had hoped for so much more. Director Luc Besson just got lazy. As for Scarlett Johansson? This is the second vacant performance in a row. I’m not impressed. It’s time for her to start acting again.

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Cynthia Kirkeby, “Lucy.” Point Of View Reviews- Movie reviews by DW Kirkeby, and more, from ClassBrain's Movies in the Classroom. 4 August 2017, 11:33 UTC. . 20 Aug 2018 <>.
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Cynthia Kirkeby, “Lucy.” Point Of View Reviews- Movie reviews by DW Kirkeby, and more, from ClassBrain's Movies in the Classroom, [accessed August 20, 2018].

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