A MAJOR premise in the Luc Besson film Lucy is that humans only use 10 per cent of their brain.
So what would happen if a human could unlock part of the brain never accessed before and use 20, 40 or 50 per cent of their brain’s capacity?
Theories will be plenty but Besson answers us with something we might not have considered.
Lucy stars Hollywood starlet Scarlett Johansson who has found a new niche in action, adventure and science-fiction films.
After coming to notice in Ghost World (2001), Johansson would feature in drama films Lost in Translation and The Girl With the Pearl Earring (both 2003) and A Love Song For Bobby Long (2004).
Iron Man 2 (2010) and The Avengers (2012) showed off her stunt skills but in Lucy and 2013 film Her, Johansson has shown she can take on roles that have a deeper, more philosophical meaning.
Lucy is a student caught in a dark deal that sees a bag of mind-focusing drugs sewn into her abdomen.
When the bag breaks, a large dose of the drug is absorbed into her body and allows Lucy to take on new talents.
It starts out with learning new languages and develops greatly to telepathic and telekinetic powers.
The downside is she begins to not feel pain and her emotions disappear.
She seeks out the help of Samuel Norman (Morgan Freeman), a neuro-scientist while being chased down by the group of people who want their drugs back.
French director Besson has always been one to put forward odd ideas (see The Fifth Element or Leon: The Professional).
In Lucy he does it again and also cuts in file footage of animals in the animal kingdom just to remind us of where we came from and what Lucy is feeling.
Some of the edits might be obvious but it becomes far less so as Lucy’s mind develops which is an interesting concept.
When Besson taps into film philosophy reminiscent of 2001: A Space Odyssey, it is increasingly interesting but the turn to car chases and gun fights undoes a lot of the mind-bending work that he and Johansson have described to the audience.
There is not doubt that Johansson carries the film. She is far from a pretty face. Coupled with Besson’s direction it makes for an interesting format but not one that everyone will focus their minds to.
Lucy (MA15+) is now showing at Bendigo Cinemas. See page 3 of the Bendigo Advertiser for session times.
Follow film reviewer Chris Pedler on Twitter @FilmNerdChris.