Luc Besson has that rare, magical quality where his films teeter on the edge of being extremely mediocre and/or somewhat entertaining. Similar themes run through his work, from La Femme Nikita to The Professional to The Fifth Element to The Messenger, focusing on the feminized goddess archetype rising above all adversity, in ferocious neo-Darwinian fashion. Lucy is the climax of this goddess myth, wherein Scarlett Johansson plays an inadvertent drug mule, “Lucy,” roped into an international conspiracy that quickly departs into something resembling The Matrix meets Limitless meets 2001: A Space Odyssey.
I suppose it’s difficult to get away from being influenced by the top science fiction films, but at a certain point, audiences can only see so many Matrix-y bullet stopping scenes, and replacing Keanu with a hot chick doesn’t make it any better. Regardless, the transhumanist plot is really the focus here, as the premise is basically this: Since humans only use a small portion of their latent brainpower, what would happen if a human could use all 100%? And what if Morgan Freeman, Hollywood’s imagined, soulful voice of God/science, could help facilitate that ascent of (wo)man to godhood? As I observed this silly plot, I was reminded of Gravity, where references to Darwinian apotheosis also abound, as woman takes humanity to the next level by a punctuated equilibrium jump in the evolutionary spectrum. Here, sweet Scarlett will catapult us ahead to the vaginal tech utopia.
Like The Fifth Element, where Milla Jovovich plays a feminine incarnation of the aether, or quintessence, Lucy becomes the feminine incarnation of reason and robotic rationality as she gradually ascends into the adoption of taking on what classical theology has called the incommunicable attributes of God: omniscience and omnipresence. We never know if Lucy attains to omnibenevolence. The film continually references Darwinian process, highlighting the survival of the fittest, aeons of slow mutation, and Lucy, the laughable supposed first chimp, who was a female. Sorry, my fellow men, as Besson would have us understand, men are not preeminent in reason, nor are men the real power that propels order and civilization, as that exalted role is reserved for the first Lucy, the imagined female chimp, and the last Lucy, Scarlett Johansson. Continue reading