Sunday, April 26, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Review: ‘Lucy’ won’t stretch your brain capacity

By
From page B2 | July 25, 2014 |

Jocelyn Noveck

So let’s start with the enticing premise of Luc Besson’s “Lucy,” starring Scarlett Johansson: Human beings only use 10 percent of their brain capacity. Imagine what it would be like if we could access all of it?

Well, wow. It would be sort of like … nothing new. Because, it turns out, in real life, humans pretty much DO use their whole brains.

DARN!

Now, we could choose to be annoyed that Besson starts with a total myth. Or we could give him a pass — because, hey, the movie is fiction anyway. The more relevant question, though, is how much of your own brain you should use when watching “Lucy” — a truly bizarre if often entertaining romp through, hmm, well, neuroscience, biochemistry, anthropology and basically the entire human experience, in 90 minutes. (Oh, plus a really cool car chase.)

And here’s another question: Just how much of his brain did Besson access when writing the dialogue? (That may sound nasty, but Mr. Besson, you’re the one who got us thinking about cerebral capacity.) The director knows his way around a camera, and you can argue about the merits of the storyline. But the dialogue often sounds like it was produced by a primitive computer: Hammy and clunky.

As for the name “Lucy,” it refers to the famous fossilized skeleton of a female estimated to have lived some 3 million years ago. Thank goodness that primitive woman has now evolved — into a bleached blonde, airheaded student of some sort, living in Taiwan. That’s where we meet Johansson’s Lucy, who at least seems more mature than her jerk of a boyfriend, who forces her to deliver a mysterious briefcase to a shady gang boss.

Turns out, it’s a drug delivery — a shiny blue crystal called cph4. Lucy and a few other unfortunates are the chosen mules, doomed to fly to Europe with packages implanted in their stomachs. Only, there’s a hitch. Roughed up by thugs, Lucy suffers blows to the abdomen, and the drug starts leaking into her system. Suddenly, she’s writhing uncontrollably — on the ceiling, no less.

And then things get really weird.

The drug’s effect is to enhance Lucy’s brain capacity. As it starts to climb — 20 percent, 30 percent, and so on — Lucy can suddenly speak Chinese. She can shoot six guys at a time. She can hear and see and feel — everything. She remembers being an infant. She calls her mother back home: “I remember the taste of your milk in my mouth,” she says, tearfully.

Because she’s becoming so smart — Lucy uses two laptops at a time, furiously unlocking the secrets of science — she knows that her condition gives her only 24 hours to live. Here’s where you shouldn’t get bogged down attempting logical analysis. As in, if Lucy can control movement and space and time, why can’t she expand the 24 hours? And really, why does she need to fly commercial to Paris?

Oh yes, Paris. Lucy heads there to meet Professor Norman, an expert on cerebral capacity (Morgan Freeman, in that gravelly voiced, level-headed role you’ve seen him play so many times). Simultaneously, she’s trying to recover all the drug packets, with the help of a police detective (Amr Waked) who really doesn’t know what hit him, but they do have an awesome car chase together. Professor Norman advises Lucy that, as she approaches 100 percent capacity — and death — she should do something useful with all the precious knowledge she’s acquiring.

And we really didn’t want to say this again, but: This is where it gets REALLY weird.

We won’t give away the frantic ending, and we’re not sure we could, even if we tried. At a certain point, the best strategy may be to just sit back, listen to the pounding music, admire those bright colors, and just shut that brain down entirely.

“Lucy,” a Universal Studios release, is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America “for strong violence, disturbing images, and sexuality.” Running time: 90 minutes. Two stars out of four.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Children enjoy day of fishing at Fairfield pond

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Solano cities celebrate Earth Day

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Hard-fought battle ends in victory

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Expo shows Kroc Center fun for whole Framily

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Suisun police execute tobacco sting

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

CHP offers free class for senior drivers

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

 
Edibles in your landscape

By Daily Republic | From Page: C4

 
Covered California offers Solano enrollment events

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Patrons raise a glass to toast a good cause

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Walk MS hits stride along Suisun waterfront

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

Weather for Sunday, April 26, 2015

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B6

 
Pay close attention to investment costs

By Mark Sievers | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

Be wary of next ‘big’ thing

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

 
.

US / World

With legalization, lawyers turn to business of pot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 3 Comments

 
Remains of dismembered newborn found in South Los Angeles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Spring storm delivers late rain, snow to Northern California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Starbucks stores reopen Saturday after computer glitch

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Nearly 17 million watch Jenner interview

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

European authorities stop illegal horse meat network

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Italian navy rescues 274 from migrant ship off Libyan coast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Aden hit by coalition airstrikes amid fierce street battles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Mother in custody dispute freed after 8 years behind bars

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Italy marks 70th anniversary of anti-Nazi uprising

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Army shutting down wounded warrior transition care units

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Warrior pose: Yoga catching on as therapy for veterans’ PTSD

By The Washington Post | From Page: B10

Toll climbs after powerful quake hits Nepal: Things to Know

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

Corruption tarnishes values of our ancestors

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 4 Comments

 
Obama sides with enemy

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 22 Comments

Who’s asleep at the switch?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
How can we give them more?

By Brian Thiemer | From Page: A8, 8 Comments

 
Sound off for April 26, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Brides show short wedding gowns more of the love

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Community Calendar: April 26, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Today in history: Sunday, April 26

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Vatican goes on offensive to defend US-Spanish saint

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
You get what you need with Jesus

By Noel Reese | From Page: C3, 4 Comments

How can I trust my husband after he texted a younger woman behind my back?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
Horoscope: April 26, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

 
Old standby body-weight training still has moves

By The Washington Post | From Page: C7

 
Milan spiffs up for Expo 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: C7

.

Entertainment

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
More copies of Laura Ingalls Wilder memoir being printed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Amber Tamblyn writes book of poetry about dead actresses

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Giants beat Rockies 5-4 in 11 innings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Warriors complete sweep with 109-98 win over Pelicans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Athletics drop 3rd straight game, 9-3 to Astros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Rain postpones NASCAR race at Richmond until Sunday

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Compton, Day top leaderboard in rain-plagued Zurich Classic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Suzuki breaks Oh’s record for runs by a Japanese player

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Bulldogs get 10-0 baseball win over Panthers

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Canadian teen Henderson has 1-shot lead in LPGA Tour event

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Klitschko outpoints Jennings to defend heavyweight titles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Michael Schumacher’s son makes strong Formula 4 debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
US routs Canada 7-2 in semifinal at under-18 hockey worlds

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Watford back in Premier League after 8-year absence

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Several Kentucky Derby hopefuls get workouts in before rain

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Levy falters at Volvo China Open; 4 tied for lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Former Expos executive Jim Fanning dies at 87

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Sandy Lyle, Ian Woosnam team to lead Legends of Golf

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
A’s place Ben Zobrist on disabled list with knee injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

7 players from Royals, White Sox punished by MLB for brawl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Grizzlies hold off a late Trail Blazers rally to go up 3-0

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Hometown report: Bicycle racing, youth track

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

 
Bowling report for April 26, 2015

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

Bayless’ layup at buzzer gives Bucks 92-90 win over Bulls

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
Nets beat Hawks 91-83, pull within 2-1 in series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

Sports on TV for Sunday, April 26, 2015

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B5

 
This date in sports history for April 26

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Business

Veggies take center plate as healthy fast food chains expand

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
What’s in a hotel name? Guests try to decipher the mystery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Is ice cream safe? Federal health officials say yes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Don’t panic, college seniors: Jobs for grads likely to grow

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

Nicole Herdia Spann

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Reginald Morris Davis

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics