Saw It For You: Lucy (2014)


Lucy (2014)

In a freak accident, Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) is exposed to a chemical which allows her to use more than 10% of her brain, until she achieves the next level of human evolution at 100% brain capacity.

Tagline. “Human beings were given 100% of a brain. What would happen if we used more than 10% of it?”


  • Director Luc Besson came under fire for perpetuating the myth that humans only use 10% of their brain. Besson shot back, saying he “could not hear 100% of criticism.”
  • The title “Lucy” is a reference to a partial Australopithecine skeleton found in Ethiopia. This is alluded to in the movie by characters mentioning the fact more than eighty times.
  • After reading pseudoscientific literature to prepare for her role, Scarlett Johansson was reportedly 10% brainwashed.

Incorrectly Regarded as Mistakes

  • Needing money to escape the country, Lucy contacts a Nigerian prince who deposits $16,300,000 in her checking account. Oddly, he does not require that Lucy pay the traditional $3,000 bank transaction fee first. However it is possible that the Nigerian prince is an old friend and owed her $16.3 million as a favor.
  • Lucy knocks a gangster’s tooth out which flies into a full bottle of Coke. In the next scene, the tooth is still clearly intact. The bottle may have been filled with Diet Coke, which may not have any tooth-dissolving properties.
  • A police detective picks Lucy out of a lineup despite never having been an eyewitness to her crimes. He may have used his pineal gland and its vestigial sense to grant him the “sight beyond sight” all humans have access to if they avoid fluoride.
  • The kid at the police station eats Pop Rocks and drinks soda, but never explodes. It is possible the explosion happened off-camera.
  • During the bar fight, Lucy breaks a mirror by throwing an attacker’s hunting knife through it. Though she does not appear any worse off following this, it could be said that the dangerous events of the movie are unlucky enough to denote the beginning of a seven-year period of bad luck.
  • After the revelation that Lucy is worried she’ll pass on her omnipotence to a child if she were to get pregnant, she recklessly has unprotected sex with the CIA agent assigned to her. However, the careful viewer will realize that she did take aspirin, an effective natural birth control method, beforehand.
  • Though it seems like a miracle, Lucy manages to lose her belly fat using one weird old tip.

Memorable Quotes

Police Officer. This is her dossier. She’s wanted for murder. Her name is Lucy.
Rookie. Like the partial Australopithecine skeleton from Ethiopia?
Police Officer. That’s right. That skeleton held one of the first clues that hominids walking upright actually preceded the evolution of a larger brain pan.
Rookie. Huh, guess that would make Lucy on the forefront of what we know as human evolution.
Police Officer. Do you mean Lucy the partial Australopithecine skeleton? Or the perp?
(Both Rookie and Police Officer turn to look at the camera, grinning wryly. The unblinking camera look lasts 85 seconds.)

Professor Norman. (played by Morgan Freeman) The brain only operates at 10%. The brain of a woman, perhaps 5 or 6%. She’s got nowhere to go but up.

Lucy. We have to disable the security cameras or they’ll be here in minutes.
CIA Agent. There’s no way to the control room from here!
Lucy.  Forget the control room. I just evolved a chromosome that can hack binary using air currents.

Interpol Chief. Give it up, Lucy! You’re surrounded. Come out with your brain and hands up!
Lucy. (to a cat) I need someone to distract them. I wish you could help me, kitty cat.
Cat. (via subtitles) I can. All cats have the ability to understand human speech, we just lack vocal chords to speak back.
Lucy. And I just unlocked the DNA cell for language.

Luc Besson. Hello audience, I am Luc Besson. I hope you learned something from all the facts in my movie.

  • Ben

    Didn't know about this movie… Having just watched the trailer I think I like your interpretation better. I don't know if people continue to use the "10% of your brain" trope because they think it's a cool movie premise or they really don't know how brains (and science, and physics, and reality) works.

    Having said that, I actually kind of enjoyed Limitless, but he didn't become frigging Neo in it.

    • Bryan

      Yeah. I know it's sci-fi, but I feel it's just lazy to keep using that trope. When I first saw the trailer I knew I didn't want to see it as soon as I heard Morgan Freeman say that scientific "fact". Blaaarg. Oh well.

  • LMcCJ

    It's a cautionary tale. If you're going to be a drug mule, always use your bum.

    • JJJMo

      Then she would have just had a highly evolved bum?

      It would be like rise of the planet of the bums.

      • LMcCJ

        No, ya goose. Her body wouldn't absorb the drug so…effectively. It's standard drug mule practice. I'll bet the union is giving the movie studio hell over the misrepresentation.

  • Tazsul

    I watched it last week and the pseudoscience bullshit kept disrupting my state of suspended disbelief. I tried, but in all honesty magic goop that gives you superpowers would have been a much easier movie to enjoy.
    I was hilarious to watch Morgan Freeman's character, supposedly the forefront of brain mapping etc, tell a audience of scientists that using 40%+ of your brain would give you matter control superpowers, for no reason. AND NO ONE QUESTIONS HIM!

  • People seem a lot more broken up about the science thing than the fact she apparently shoots a dude for not speaking English.

  • stephen

    Lucy 2: Scarlett Johannson learns the power of using 100% of her boobs.

    • stephen

      Just realized that would be "Under the Skin"

      • Jor-El

        Sadly, in both movies she's using 100% of her acting ability.

    • woah scramet jonasassson has good bobs

  • Kyle_Douglas

    "The kid at the police station eats Pop Rocks and drinks soda, but never explodes. It is possible the explosion happened off-camera."
    It's also possible the soda was Diet Coke, which may not have any Pop Rocks explosion interaction properties.
    It's really a shame that all Diet Coke research was banned after the Mentos disaster of '02.

  • Errors made by characters (possibly intentional on the part of the filmmakers): The scientist warns the FBI unit that Lucy may soon be using "200%, if not 300%, of her brain."

  • Tumblt

    I'm a member of the guilty party, I need a movie to have a decent and smooth enough premise or I won't be able to get past it. Like, I couldn't stand the Purge. I dare someone to look me in the eye, keep a straight face, and tell me that a law like the one in that movie could be passed in our near future. It's not even far in the future, it was like 2017 or something.

    • Jor-El

      Ehhh…. I mean, could the 'no books' law of Fahrenheit 451 ever reasonably be passed? Not that 'The Purge' was remotely near the level 451 in terms of what it was trying to say about society/whatever, but potentially insane ideas (Children of Men is another example) can lead to good stories.

      The Purge and Lucy are not examples of that.

  • Jack

    Goof: Even though Lucy has access to 100% of her brain, she fails to suppress her racist urges and kills a cab driver because he can't speak English.

    • xyz

      Maybe we evolved to not use that 90% of our brain because it is even more crazy racist than crazy racists are.

      • krisstraub

        at 100% capacity, you achieve Infinite Racism

        • Jay Dee

          Currently, we can only access 10% of known racism. What will happen when Lucy gains the ability to experience the full 100% of unadulterated racism locked in everyday jokes and snide remarks?

          • MasterL33t46290

            Xbox Live was key to unlocking the true potential of humanity all along!

    • CaseCrash

      She doesn't kill him, she shoots him in the leg, they made it obvious so you wouldn't consider her a villain.

  • as soon as i saw it was directed by luc besson, it all made sense.*

    *in that it made no sense

  • Tazsul

    Whoever went though and down voted all the comments where people said the premise hurt their suspension of disbelief, please consider this:

    Imagine a movie who's premise is: "We all know Whales are the biggest fish, but what if a whale could transform into a Mammal! It would get all those super powers and become unto a GOD!"

    See how ridiculous that sounds? That's exactly what this movie did.

    Don't get me wrong. I mostly enjoyed the movie. Scarlett Johansson was great, Morgan Freeman was great, all the acting was great, and the effects too. The script however was simultaneously heavy handed, grossly misinformed, and bat shit last 30 minuets of 2001 a space odyssey crazy.

    • o0o

      anyone who says a whale is a fish needs to read the epic pwnage of Linnaeus by Melville which was so damaging, that evolution was completely halted until Darwin evolved.

      with modern knowledge we can say, if a whale could be a mammal, it would basically be a Pokemon.

      • o0o

        woah, "anyone who says a whale is NOT a fish", that typo rendered my comment gibberish

  • "the “sight beyond sight” all humans have access to if they avoid fluoride."

    Unlike Thundercats, whose primitive pineal glands require assistive technologies such as the Sword of Omens to access "sight beyond sight".

  • Mac

    You people complaining about the movie are acting like you're autistic. I guess your mothers did vaccinate you…

    • Oh, sorry, forgot that people aren't allowed to not like things and express that they do not like those things. Thanks for setting us straight. Out of gratitude I'd like to offer you a plane ticket to the West African city of your choice. You're a swell guy and you deserve it.

  • I don't think this movie would have caught so much flak if it wasn't so heavily advertised. I saw so many posters in the subway and heard those radio ads that started with Morgan Freeman saying that people only use 10% of their brains so many times that this film just sort of became this lightning rod for disdain. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against Luc Besson, he was great in the 90s for sure, but Lucy is just stupid dreck that makes everyone associated with it look bad. This was something that should have died in development and I hope has certain actors reconsidering their agents. I expect quite a few Raspberries for this mess.

    • Mac

      If anything they should at least have avoided having the 10% thing so present in the advertisement. It seems like such a big screwup that nobody involved in the movie would just come out and say that it'd make people treat the movie as a laughing stock.

  • Incorrectly Regarded as Homage: Lucy unlocks the genes for unassisted human flight right after robbing a jewelry store. This is not some kind of reference as Luc has never heard that song and probably wouldn't like it anyways.