Tuesday, August 09, 2016

The Miracles Of Pharmacology

I got to see Lucy last week. Where Scarlett Johansson is press-ganged into being a drug mule and the drug gets into her bloodstream, unlocking the full potential of her brain, meaning superpowers, then basically godhood. The film rests on that old thing about humans only using 10% of their brain, which is bunk. Although I thought the point of that was you can only use about 10% at any given time. That there are all sorts of things a human brain can do, but it can't do them all at once. This is also probably bunk.

So I think you'd have to be willing to roll with the idea that you can unlock the brain and eventually be able to alter your body structure, see telephone and radio communications, gain telekinesis, and eventually travel through time and space at will. Good thing I read comics, or that might be more of a challenge. My tolerance for nonsense in service of cool stuff is fairly high, and that's most of what this seems to be. Scarlett Johansson with superpowers, doing stuff. Fleeing from the French police, thwarting drug lords who want the rest of that drug, traveling back in time to serve as basically the Monolith in 2001.

She's also increasingly indifferent towards the lives of other people, which was troubling. Guy on an airplane observes her body beginning to dissolve, she, I dunno, shuts his brain down. She's tearing through Paris with the cops on her heels, just flinging other vehicles on the road out of her way. The movie toys with the idea Lucy is losing empathy as her brain grows more preoccupied, but it does make it harder to root for her to save her life. I guess the argument would be that the things she's figured out can aid humanity greatly, if she has enough time to transfer all of that knowledge to some format Morgan Freeman and the rest of the scientific community can do something with. And so all the French police who get killed protecting her from 30 Chinese gangsters whose boss is only really concerned with killing Lucy are acceptable losses. Ditto those people in those cars she was tossing around like she's Magneto. I suppose they could be fine, but given the indifference she shows, it's hard to give benefit of the doubt.

I thought Amr Waked's did well as the police officer Del Rio. He recognizes how thoroughly outclassed he is trying to deal with Lucy, and at one point, suggests he might as well stay behind, because she doesn't need his help. She encouraged him to stay, as a "reminder", and he does manage to rally the police to buy her time (although no credit to the cops for pulling up at the university and entirely missing the gangsters pulling machine guns out of the trunks of their cars right across the street. Awful situational awareness there). Also, there was one of Mr. Jang's lieutenants I really liked. I didn't catch his character's name, but he was the guy with the briefcase of the remaining drugs that Lucy took away at the hospital after. He was kind of a little shit, but he had some style. During the big shootout, he pulls out a rocket launcher and tries rushing out there and sliding across the floor to fire it. I had to respect that move.

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