“Lucy” and Hollywood’s Disservice to the General Public (Part 1)

Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman, is set to be released later this month. People have already been clamoring over the annoying “we only use 10% of our brains” myth being used in the film, which has caused me to hate this movie already. I’ll still see it though, and post a follow-up eventually.

I saw the trailer for Lucy when I went to see X-Men: Days of Future Past. I would’ve written a review for that, but I saw it a month after it came out, so it wasn’t really timely anymore.

Lucy is a borderline interesting story, with basically the same premise as 2011’s Limitless, starring Bradley Cooper. Both films incorrectly state that human beings only use 10% of their brains and set forth to find out what would happen if we unlocked our full potential. Unfortunately, both films fail to realize humans actually use approximately 90% of their brains at any given moment.

Morgan Freeman’s expression after learning he’s told the first lie of his life thanks to this film.

That annoying myth isn’t just limited to popular culture; it is etched into our minds, along with other tired myths such as the story about NASA developing an expensive pen for usage in space while the Russians just used pencils.

It’s a real problem, not just because it’s annoying, but because people are incredibly susceptible to stories like that. Even in journalism, there are so many “news” stories that end up being fake, Cracked.com has devoted an entire series of articles pointing them out.

The internet is supposed to bring knowledge to people; it does that job admirably, but the onus is on us to weed through the bullshit and hold the legitimate substance up high. Most people don’t seem to have that mentality, which explains why the brain story and the space pen story still get shared on Facebook and other social media platforms relentlessly, to the point where I’ve unfollowed some of my more… gullible friends.

NYMag.com published an article about Lucy and the brain myth, prompting one Facebook commenter to say, “It’s a movie, suspend disbelief a little if you want to enjoy it. Were you hoping for college credit?”

I find that comment to be ironic, considering the scrutiny other movies have received over their mistakes (real or otherwise). For example, Iron Man 3 has been attacked by many viewers over the fact that several different people with different physiques all wear an Iron Man suit at one time or another.

You’re telling me those suits can’t adjust to the wearer? Okay, buddy.

Gravity was also criticized over its scientific inaccuracies, even though it’s still one of the most accurate space movies ever made. What I’m trying to say is this: there’s a difference between nitpicking and having legitimate concerns over the message a movie is sending.

Like I said, the problem with Lucy‘s mistake is that it’s perpetuating an erroneous belief that many people sincerely believe to be true. It may be relatively harmless towards the quality of the movie, but it’s doing a disservice to the general public.

Yeah, Hollywood’s job isn’t to be an educator. But this is a product of lazy writing. The myth could easily have been avoided altogether and the story would have been just fine.

Ultimately, that’s why there’s going to be a follow-up to this. I want to write an actual movie review for Lucy, and the use of the myth won’t really factor into it, um, other than the main premise of the entire film being ruined…

In all honesty, the movie does look kinda cool, and it certainly helps my boy from Oldboy (the Korean one) is apparently the main bad guy here, unless Lucy ends up being the baddest one of all. 

 Click here for Part 2.

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