Oh, This Is Gonna Hurt


So.  Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman.  Coming out July 25.

This looks like a great movie. Visually beautiful. Protagonist struggling with newfound powers that seem to shoot straight past superhero territory and into godhood (with a concurrent loss of regard for human life, if her interaction with the cabbies is any indication) – I’ve enjoyed that kind of story many times before. There’s the name “Lucy”; could it possibly be a reference to the famous australopithecus, and thus a hint that Our Heroine will be the beginning of a new race? Intriguing.

And of course, there are few things I like to watch more than Scarlett Johansson kicking untold amounts of ass.

I want to see this movie. I want to like this movie.

But the central concept is just too broken. Every time it’s brought up, it’s going to break my suspension of disbelief. I won’t be able to unsee it.

“It is estimated most human beings only use ten percent of their brain’s capacity.”

No. Wrong. Wrong. We use all of it. We only use a small part to think because the rest of it is busy keeping you alive. The medulla oblongata doesn’t do much thinking because it’s too busy making you breathe. As Red Molly might say, our consciousness is just our user interface. The rest of our brain is our operating system.

“Imagine if we could access one hundred percent.”

I’m imagining. Every part of your brain that isn’t being used to think is still being used for something. What part of your automatic functions do you want to trade away for super powers? Is your sense of taste worth fifty I.Q. points? Would you trade your sphincter control for telekinesis? If you could change your appearance at will but had to think about breathing, would you consider that a fair trade?

This isn’t a situation like radiation in the Fifties, or computers in the Eighties, or nanobots and genetic engineering now, where the science is so unknown to the common person that it might as well be magic. This is stuff we know.

I really hope that this nonsense doesn’t turn off the nerd audience that this movie needs to succeed. I know that I, for one, am trying to decide if the promised awesome is enough to counterbalance twitching every time I’m reminded of the sheer wrongness of the premise. You just know that if this thing flops, it’s going to be used as yet more “evidence” that audiences won’t go to see a superhero movie with a female lead, when we’d actually do so in a heartbeat if they weren’t all half-assed, designed-to-fail efforts like Catwoman.



Filed under Reviews

3 responses to “Oh, This Is Gonna Hurt

  1. Wow. These were my almost my exact thoughts when I first saw the trailer. The movie looks so good, but the science part of the science fiction is just so obviously flawed. What I really hope for this movie though is that it’s just used as a half-assed premise to explain why Scarlett Johansson has super powers then is never brought up again.

    • That’s about the best we can hope for, but it doesn’t look like we’re going to get it. If nothing else, it looks like they’re tracking the increase of her powers by how much of her brain she’s using. Which…ugh.

      I may very well end up seeing it anyway, but it kills me that some of this movie’s enormous potential has been sabotaged right out of the gate like this.

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