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This is Lucy. This is Lucy’s Brain on Drugs. Any Questions?

lucy-scarlett-johansson-picture

LUCY (2014)

Director: Luc Besson

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Min-sik Choi, Amr Waked

Plot: An unwitting college student ingests a new synthetic drug that turns her into a major brainiac!

Rating: R for graphic violence, gunplay, some blood, some more blood, a little more gunplay…

Lucy opens with brilliant scientist and brain expert Professor Samuel Norman (Morgan Freeman) informing a lecture hall full of students that humans only use about 10% of their brain.

10 percent? He’s probably right. Here’s how I use my 10:

1% – devoted to thinking about the construction of and/or acquisition of sandwiches.

1% – Star Wars. Actually, it’s more like 2% with The Force Awakens opening in 93 days.

5% – Stuff that keeps me alive; breathe in, breathe out, fire = hot, do not close eyes while driving, etc.

1% – Witty answers to hashtag games on Twitter.

1% – Brad and Angelina.

Fret not folks. Professor Norman informs us that as humans evolve and unlock more of their brains power, we will be able to do amazing things; like repair our sick bodies, speak to each other telepathically, and remember where you lost your retainer in the 8th grade.

Mom never let me hear the end of that.

Anyhoo, while it will take several hundred millennium for us to harness 100 percent of our brainpower, the hapless heroine of this movie manages to do it in just a few days thanks to a ruthless drug gang and a huge overdose of a powerful new club drug. And they say ruthless drug gangs never give back to their community.

In Taipei, college/party girl Lucy (Johansson) is tricked by her oily jerkass boyfriend into delivering a suitcase to a man in a swank hotel. Before you can say what could possibly go wrong, poor Lucy is grabbed by a well armed Korean drug cartel whose boss Mr. Jang (Choi Min-Sik) really enjoys killing people.

Turns out Lucy was carrying a suitcase full of a new drug all the kids will be jonesing for, and now she and three other poor dopes have been recruited as mules to deliver the drugs across Europe, which probably means Lucy won’t be going to her 2:00 French Lit class.

Lucy and the other mules have a bag of the drug surgically implanted in them and are sent on their way, but before she can hop a plane, one of her abusive captors – who gosh darn it just can’t stop himself from being abusive – assaults Lucy, causing the drug bag to rupture and flooding Lucy’s petite system with enough blue stuff to make Walter White freak out.

Rather than dying from a monumental drug overdose, Lucy finds herself alive and growing smarter by the minute. And I’m not talking “I just learned a fun new life hack on YouTube” smart, I mean “I can see cell phone signals and make shit float with my mind” smart. Lucy finds her way back to Mr. Jang and with a little mind reading (and a couple of knives) she finds where the other three bags of drugs are going and sets off to retrieve them leaving Jang alive, which just goes to show you that even the smartest person alive doesn’t know YOU NEVER LEAVE HOMICIDAL DRUG KINGPINS ALIVE SO THEY CAN COME AFTER YOU!!!!

Lucy realizes she needs the rest of the drugs to open all 100 percent of her mind so she enlists the help of a Parisian detective Del Rio (Waked) to have the other drug mules rounded up and sent to Paris, where she also meets Professor Norman so she can tell him in person she’s about to unlock the secrets of mans next step in evolution and to compliment him on his awesome speaking voice.

Lucy draws to an action packed conclusion as Lucy races to “download” all the secrets to human existence she has unlocked to Professor Norman while Jang and his heavily armed gang storm the building hoping to get what’s left of his drugs back only to run into Del Rio and his armed police pals.

Will Jang succeed? Will Lucy leave behind a path for human beings to follow into a new plane of existence? More importantly, now that she has evolved into a superbeing free of any corporeal shell, will her parents be able to get a refund on her tuition?

Lucy is a trippy little film by Luc Besson, who keeps the usual gunplay and violence of his films to a minimum to tell an interesting sci-fi tale about the human mind an how it will evolve as man evolves.

Heck, what’s going to happen to us when we finally unlock all the powers of our mind?

I don’t know. I was thinking about sandwiches. And Star Wars.

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Outer Space Prison Blues!

LOCKOUT (2012) Directors: James Mather, Stephen St. Leger Starring: Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, Peter Stormare, Vincent Regan  Rating: PG-13 For bad space language and graphic space violence. 

Okay, show of hands – anyone ever been to outer space?

Me neither.

But I’ve seen a lot of movies set there, and outer space can either be a place for thrilling adventure (Star Wars, Star Trek), heart stopping terror (Alien), or head scratching confusion (Solaris, The Adventures of Pluto Nash).

Lockout, the sci-fi action thriller from the mind of Luc Besson has most of the above mentioned things, plus a pinch of Die Hard and a dash of Escape from L.A. thrown in for good measure. It’s like a Kellogg’s variety pack of cereal minus the two crappy boxes of Corn Flakes that nobody eats and will eventually throw away!

In the year 2072, a huge space prison called MS One orbits earth. The planet’s most dangerous criminals are kept aboard in cryogenic stasis for their entire sentence, which cuts down on daily meals and those pesky gang fights over the remote in the TV room.

The President’s crusading daughter Emilie (Maggie Grace) flies up to MS One to check on the health and well being of the inmates. Hoping to convince the first daughter that the prisoners really enjoy being frozen, the stupid ass warden thaws out a prisoner named Hydell (Joseph Gilgun) for her to interview. Unfortunately, Hydell is a homicidal maniac and he quickly kills Emilie’s guards and frees all of the prisoners, including his equally dangerous brother Alex (Vincent Regan).

Now I’m no expert in futuristic space prison design, but I would probably make instantly thawing out and freeing every prisoner something that cannot be accomplished by simply pushing one button on a computer console. I have to push more buttons to brew coffee!

Alex and his crazy brother take Emilie and the MS One staff hostage (all twenty of them – because in the future a Death Star-sized cryogenic prison facility can be staffed by the same number of people it takes to run a Best Buy) and demand that the president release them from space immediately.

The President and the oily Secret Service Director Langral  (PeterStormare) have another plan to rescue Daddy’s little girl, and it involves a cocky, ass kicking guy with nothing to lose!

Pictured – Guy with nothing to lose

CIA operative extraordinaire Snow (Guy Pearce) is having a really crappy day. Framed for the murder of a fellow operative while on a mission to recover stolen space program secrets, he’s given an ultimatum by Langral: sneak aboard the space prison and rescue Emilie or be placed in stasis for the next century or until the Cubs win the World Series, whichever comes first.

Pearce does a good job stepping into the John McClane/Snake Plisskin action hero role, cracking jokes and cracking skulls as he tries to get the President’s not so helpless daughter to an escape pod before the crazed space inmates find them and the space police swoop in with their space police fighter ships and blow the place up. Did I mention the movie is set in outer space?

There’s a subplot about Snow trying to find the evidence that will clear his name and another one about the sinister medical experiments going on aboard MS One, but all that takes a back seat to Snow’s wisecracking heroics and Alex and Hydell’s scene chewing, and that’s fine with me because subplots are to action movies like vampires are to the Twilight movies; life sucking and for girls!

To sum up, Luc Besson has once again brought us a fairly decent action thriller with a bit of sci-fi flair tacked on.

Lockout is no Die Hard or Escape from L.A. which is is a bad thing. But on the positive side, as far as futuristic space movies go, Lockout is no Battlefield Earth, and you should drop to your knees and thank God and Xenu for that!