Escape to the Movies: Lucy - It's Almost a Black Widow Movie

Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
Hmm, well that ads that kept touting the 10% thing made me not care about this movie and dislike the idea behind it but the review made it sound interesting. Not great but at least something fun to drink too.

Although I also cant get the image out of my head that this is just a western version of elfen lied.
 

Tumedus

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Just to add to the chorus of why the 10% myth sucks, beyond how trite and absurd it is, given the set up of this film, it would have been so easy to avoid the myth altogether. There are so many psychobabble ways to explain how the drug improved brain function that falling back on the tired cliche is really inexcusable. Instead of marking her evolution through the percent of her brain she is using, just use the percent increase in brain function she has gained.
 

Zorg Machine

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I railed against Lucy a lot when the trailer hit because I think it's important to rail against movies that use pseudoscience as a premise. That said, I always mentioned that the movie looks awesome and that I will see it as soon as I can.
 

CelestDaer

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The big backlash I'm hearing about Lucy is how it's another white girl kidnapped by racial stereotypes as a premise, and then the white girl gets to have her revenge on the kidnappers and that's okay because they started it. Thanks, tumblr.
 

Random Argument Man

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bobdole1979 said:
as for Black Widow... ehhh her own movie wouldn't be that interesting, I mean she's an assasin ok neat. I would rather have Ms Marvel as the first Marvel Female Superhero to get her own movie.
I don't know. It would be interesting of having an Avenger with a grey mentality doing risky stuff in order to accomplish the greater good. Although, they'd need to do something more than just put her in a Spy setting.

It's true that Ms Marvel would be interesting since A. I don't know who the character is. B. The Marvel movies made me interested in Marvel stuff and C. I'd really love a female Marvel Superhero movie so we can finally explore other stories.
 

walsfeo

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DrOswald said:
To paraphrase Terry Pratchett, it is an analogy which aids understanding wonderfully while being, strictly speaking, wrong in every possible way.
Points for the PTerry nod!

Yeah, I'd love Black Widow to be the lead in a movie, but it might be nice to have the other "under-powered" heroes in the film as well. Maybe Hawkeye or Falcon, because I think the three of them would do a heck of a job.

I think one of the problems with Black Widow is not that she's a she but that she almost always knows more than most of the others in a given movie. She knows the agendas, a secret plan, or whatever. It's almost like she's a main character in the same way Sherlock Holmes is the main character of Sherlock Holmes, but he can be impenetrable because we have Watson to bridge the gap. Hawkeye or Falcon could fill that Watson role.

On the other hand, they could do her as the team leader for the Mission Impossible of the MCU, and I guess that wouldn't completely suck.
 

Imp_Emissary

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Well, it's good to hear the movie is good at least. May see it one day. One question; How often do they go on about "10% of the brain! D:"?

If it's not too much, I can probably make it through the movie. I agree with MovieBob about not letting it ruin it for you, but it's just so annoying. Like hearing people say "you did good" after learning you're suppose to say "well".

Plus, they couldn't shut up about it in the trailers. Sill, good to hear there's more to it than that.

Also, The Rock should do well as Shazam(or whatever you call him). Wonder who the kid will be. :/

And aren't they working on a Black Widow movie? Should be good. Like Captain America, only with more killing and pragmatism.

Edit: Hmm...After reading a few more things about the movie, I not so sure I would like it as much as Bob.

Wish he touched on the whole "Killing a man for not know english" thing. Kind of clashes with the whole Knowledge makes you a better, more caring, and good person stuff.
 
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zvate said:
Found the review intersting as always but Bob's last screen has me thinking... Would a black widow movie even work? I know a good movie can be made out of anything but for all her nuance the character is allowed very little range and as one of those connecting elements allowed within multiple different mini-franchises her growth and development would be seriously limited. I know that's a problem for all the characters but they aren't all used as universal multi-verse paste to nearly the same degree...
I think it could be a good spy movie set before and after the fall of SHIELD. Black Widow (as portrayed in the films) is first and foremost committed to her mission, using any and all means to get to her goal.

You could write a movie with a nice contrast, cutting from pre-Winter Soldier morally dubious missions she did for unclear goals (she was 'just following orders') and her life now, on the run from the governments of the world and left to determine her own goals. It would give her more prominence to rise as an undeground leader, one who works to find and organize a bunch of superheroes for the greater good (possibly encouraging vigilante status to ensure they don't become tools as she did). That way, they get a few goals accomplished:

1) She becomes a glue that extends beyond the Avengers into the Heroes for Hire series they are setting up, along with other franchises.

2) It sets the stage for a Civil War movie, which I really hope will be made.

3) Black Widow moves into position to replace Captain America as the leader of the (reformed) Avengers once Chris Evans retires.
 

AxelxGabriel

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Makabriel said:
AxelxGabriel said:
Hey Bob? For all that talk about Knowledge being good and all, are you completely forgetting the fact that the further her powers get, the less empathetic Lucy gets and how little concern she has about randomly killing people?

She killed a taxi driver just cause he didn't speak English for fuck's sake!
I haven't watched the movie yet, but I assume it's because everything becomes an equation to her. Do the detriments of ending this life outweigh the objective or hinder it in any way? No? Does keeping them alive hinder the objective? Yes? Then proceed.

Knowledge inherently is neutral, it's the application of said knowledge that can be good or evil. And that's a whole other discussion, lol.
The dude was not in her way at ALL. He was next to another cab driver who she asked if he spoke English and he says yes. He killed that guy for no damn reason at all.

If anything, that and her continuous indifference to murder shows a rather bad example to tout "Knowledge is good!"
 

RA92

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Eeeh... I think I'll go with Devin Faraci's review. Apparently, this movie is less about waxing the virtues of knowledge and more about doing coke.

That stupidity is part of the film's charm. Every scene I was on the edge of my seat: will the film get even dumber? Can it get even dumber? It did! Again and again it did! Besson seems unclear how basic things like computers and cell phones work, and at no point in the writing process did he bother to stop and do research. There's a great scene on a plane where Lucy is typing away at light speed on two laptops and the movie never explains why she?s doing that or how these two laptops are possibly processing at that speed. It's just, like, a signifier of how smart she is now that she's using TWO laptops really fast.

That scene is a total coke scene, and Lucy is a total coke movie. Some people will say this is a stoner movie ("Whoa dude, what if we could use like ALL of our brain capacity? I bet we could do sweet telekinesis!") or maybe an acid/shrooms movie (there's a ton of bullshit about the meaning of life and being connected and stuff), but it's a cocaine movie. When you do a good line of coke you feel like Lucy - invulnerable, the smartest ************ in the room, totally in control. I can absolutely believe someone who has just been hoovering up rail after rail would be convinced they have opened up more of their brain, and that they will corner you and never stop telling you about it.


So it's dumb on multiple levels.
 

rancher of monsters

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My problem with the movie isn't the whole 100% thing as it is how unashamed of it they are. Like if it was only brought up once or twice, whatever I could deal with that. But every commercial that comes on is, "Human's can only use 10% of their brains you guys!" at the first sentence. Combine that with the walking mound of disinterest that is Scarlet Johansson (Seriously, I'm not watching a Black Widow movie ever if only because she would be the fucking lead and I can't sit through that)and I can't be bothered to wast my money on this.
 

i4njw

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Keji Goto said:
bobdole1979 said:
are you joking? The Rock would be PERFECT as Shazam. He has the muscle bound super hero look down but can also bring a naive child like wonder to the part.
He'd make an even better Black Adam.
I've been thinking about this. Visually, yeah. He's as close to a live-action Black Adam I can imagine. But as an actor, I can think of few superheroes better suited for him (and that he's better suited for) than Shazam. I'd be fine with Adam, but I'd be thrilled with Shazam.
 

Brockyman

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DrOswald said:
My problem with the 10% brain thing is not necessarily that it is wrong. It is that it is wrong in a very specific way.

Lets put it this way: Star Gate uses worm holes. Now, all us nerds know that worm holes don't work like that at all. However, one could argue that it is an entry level introduction to the idea of a worm hole. To paraphrase Terry Pratchett, it is an analogy which aids understanding wonderfully while being, strictly speaking, wrong in every possible way.

Science fiction pseudo-science doesn't have to be right. In fact, it can be ridiculously and horribly wrong and still be just fine. But it should lead the viewer to the right questions if they delve deeper. This is how dumb science can still make smart science fiction. It opens the mind to new possibilities.

The 10% brain usage trope does not do that at all. It doesn't raise any interesting questions. If you do go look it up all you find is that it is completely wrong in all the most uninteresting ways. There are no further questions to ask, no more knowledge to seek.

In any case, it wont ruin the movie for me. I just really hate the trope. Looking forward to seeing the movie.
The only thing I wanted to address is the wormhole "science". The fact of the matter is, no one really knows how they work, as we've never been able to create one or actually observe one. They are theoretical and only been discovered via equations in General Relativity studies.

I think the real damage here is that people think they know everything, while science itself is the constant quest for knowledge and change. If new evidence comes along, you retest your theories or laws, even if they are considered "proven facts". However, there are many in the scientific community that use the term "settled science", and have almost a religious like zeal for their theories and that's super dangerous thinking...

The fact is, we don't know. We never fully know. There could be a device that manipulates/controls wormholes (or something similar) for travel. There could be non carbon based life. There could be devices that break the speed of light, cancel gravity, terraform planets. The point of sci-fi, and even science itself, is to imagine what can exist.

The argument about the 10% is another case of pretentiousness by the nerd/geek community. The nicest way I can say it to those who are mad about it is, get the f*ck over it.
 

Machine Man 1992

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This movie still looks completely stupid and tensionless.

You don't give the hero game-breaking superpowers, goddamn it! There's a reason why DIO is the one with Time Stop, why Todd Ingram has psychokinesis and why Frieza can blow up entire planets by himself. It adds tension to the story by making the bad guys threatening. Here? It looks like all she does is pull another superpower out of her ass to solve the problem.

I remember quipping that unless her opponents are also superpowerful, I don't see much point in watching this bullshit. It's like the Crossover Rule of FanFiction; If Frodo is a Jedi, then Sauron has to have the Death Star.

EDIT; And one more thing! It's not a Black Widow movie because despite her skills and resources, Black Widow is still a squishy mortal. She can still be killed just as easily as anyone else.
 

Shjade

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Brockyman said:
Wow, and I thought Bob was pretentious....

1 "Rape Survivor cliche"
No. Just No. I have to assume you know nothing about movies or comics so let me enlighten you on the "hero gets his motivation/learns his powers from trauma" cliche
Batman - Bruce Wayne's parents are murdered in front of him
Superman - Entire home planet destroyed sends him to one of the places in the universe he can have superpowers
Spiderman - Painful metamorphosis from radioactive spider bite.
Iron Man - Captured by terrorist and uses the reactor that keeps him alive to power the suit as a side effect
The Hulk - "Duh!"

Others include the Thing, Black Widow, Thor (to lesser extent, more of a "life lesson") Wolverine (and various other X-men)

The only two I can think that didn't go through personal trauma are the Human Torch/Invisible Woman/Mr. Fantastic, although the transformation was kinda painful and the learning of abilities over time and Green Lantern, who got his ring from a dying alien that he didn't know.

So, now that your proven wrong on point 1.
While I don't necessarily agree with Lucy's bit being akin to a rape survivor cliche, your comparisons aren't particularly good. Yes, those are all forms of trauma that their respective participants overcome/react to as part of their path to heroism. However, none of your examples are physically invasive/violations (as is very much the case in rape, and in having your body surgically opened up and filled with something you don't want in there). It's erroneous to suggest any trauma that isn't rape isn't the same as rape in such a context simply because, as I understand your argument, there are all kinds of trauma people have to get over.

I might not go as far as saying Lucy's premise is a rape survivor-type story, but I'd say it's closer to one than any of the examples you put forward.
 

vid87

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scnj said:
The other big problem with the film is the weird almost racist and sexist vibes I got from the trailer. Yeah, it's exciting to see a female led pseudo-superhero movie. But her origin story is that something was done to her against her will, and she had to survive the trauma in order to obtain her powers. It's practically the same as the overused strong rape survivor cliche.

And also, for all her so called enlightenment, there's that weird moment in the trailer where upon finding out the Asian man speaks no English, she shoots him. Because apparently him being of no use to her at all makes him unworthy of living. Kind of a weird message to send. And finally there's the Chinese text on the walls, which is just made up of random words. That's a language that is used by a huge percentage of the population, reduced to meaningless set dressing. Imagine how jarring it would be to just see English words like 'apple' and 'box' written large on a wall in a film. There's pretty much zero difference here.
-Sexism: I feel, having looked over Besson's work and having first-hand or partial knowledge of many of them, that it's a recurring theme to some capacity - yes, many of his female characters are gutsy, strong, take-no-crap badasses, but that usually stems from them either being experiments or trained soldiers (5th Element, Joan of Arc [both with Milla Jovovich, who excels at the whole "strong but damaged punching bag" thing - how many times has she died throughout Resident Evil?] Starship Troopers, Nikita), having suffered incredible tragedy or trauma (The Professional, Columbiana), or simply being savagely insane (The Family), and that isn't touching on the other things he's worked on where the women are not only victims of intense violence but often involve sexual abuse and slavery (Transporter, Hitman, Taken, From Paris With Love [aka Travolta head-shots a woman]). So, superpowers through kidnapping and forced drug-smuggling frankly sounds up his alley.

-Racism: I have a bit less knowledge on it, but I remember a review of The Family saying something to the effect of Besson being a "traitor." Having seen the movie, I kind've understand - the titular family (DeNiro, Pfeiffer, and the others) are Americans in Paris under a witness protection program hiding from their former mob family. They are, frankly, awful people who quickly take control of various parts of the village they live in (DeNiro destroys a water tank to get back an overcharge on the bill or something and fantasizes about grabbing an annoying neighbor and shoving his face on a hot barbeque grill, Pfeiffer is given attitude by a grocer and BLOWS UP the store, the son immediately runs some kind of information racket at school, and the daughter has an affair with a teacher and almost commits suicide when she finds out he's married, having previously beaten would-be rapists to a pulp with a tennis racket - technically the least troublesome and more sympathetic of them all but nevertheless portrayed as, at best, wildly unstable). The French citizens are either jerks or so cheerfully oblivious that they fall over themselves trying to help the family, but the family, despite being portrayed as conniving, insane, brutal, and revenge-minded, are the people we're supposed to care about. My point is that Besson seems to keep a lot of focus on the American cast when he makes films for the US and anyone who's from another country or isn't Caucasian is usually some sort of antagonist or victim in a broad, stereotypical way. Again, not really surprised by the outcome here.
 

K12

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My degree was in Psychology and the 10% myth is one of the most annoying things in the entire fucking world!

That being said the last film I watched that was partly based around this idea was "Limitless" (even getting the actual myth wrong and saying 20%) and that was surprisingly good.

I think that people gaining intelligence based superpowers or supercharging the brain is a great sci-fi jumping off point and giving it a vaguely plausible sounding link to actual science is unnecessary. If you're going to go down that route do it right.

I have a real problem with Science fiction which requires you to know as little as possible about science in order to enjoy the science-sounding parts. Doesn't stop it from being a good movie (at all!) but it's just an unnecessary annoyance that adds nothing and irritates nerds like me.