‘Lucy’ makes me use my brain, as limited as it may be

(From syracusenewtimes.com)

(From syracusenewtimes.com)

In “Lucy,” a big deal is made about how we all use 10 percent of our brain, maximum.

And then some very evil folks figure a way to steal a drug that increases brain power.

Accidents happen and Lucy, played brilliantly by Scarlett Johansson, becomes the one person on the planet becoming smarter and smarter and smarter as the drug allows her to use more and more and more of her brain capacity.

She seeks out the scholar played so well be Morgan Freeman to share what she’s finding out about just what can be done with this brain of ours.

The special effects are gripping, more so than the violence and the killing.

This science of possibilities that was written and directed by Luc Besson is quite intriguing.

The plot is filled with twists and turns and whodunnit, too, but it’s the what-can-be that grips me the most.

It’s a pretty brilliant concept, considering that we’re dealing in the realm of us 10-percenters.

If you’d like to read my review for the Monday installment for my twice-weekly film blog on the Syracuse New Times site, click the link below.


Do you believe humans have the power to use more our our brain capacity than we do through natural means? Do you use brain teasers and exercises in an attempt to get smarter? Do you think scientists should be studying how to raise brain capacity use through drugs, and would you take them if they found it?

54 thoughts on “‘Lucy’ makes me use my brain, as limited as it may be

    • Bradley Cooper, yeah, now that you mention it, Aussa. My 10 percent had forgotten about that one already, so it must not have made much of an impression on me! This one was pretty tight.


  1. You sound like you enjoyed this movie, Mark, even if it challenged your mind! I think that it is out of my interest level, unless it is from the library or the cheap redbox! I am just not as excited about mind’s expansion and control. I am not such a great sy-fy lover, but I do sometimes try things outside my comfort zone! Thanks for the review, glad it was a good one, this time! I do believe we should try to use more of our brain power, as long as it is for ‘good’ uses! Smiles, Robin


  2. Hi Mark, so glad you reviewed this movie. My husband and I are going to see it this weekend depending on what time I get off work. Either that or Guardians of the Galaxy. (He is excited about ‘Lucy’ and willing to oblige me in what I hope will be an amusing take on a Marvel Comic themed movie. I hope so anyway – otherwise, I shall never hear the end of it. He hasn’t let me choose a movie since I chose ‘Anaconda.’ Well, I guess I can see his point. πŸ˜€ )

    As for puzzles, I hate ANYTHING having to do with numbers. But I love scrabble and crossword puzzles. And, oh yeah, there is always ‘hang man…’


  3. I don’t understand this trailer bc how could you use your brain to do anything other than THINK? How could your brain part people in line ahead of you? How could your brain control gravity and physics? I’m not very good at suspending my belief.


  4. The premise of increasing brain power was also explored in the book “Flowers For Algernon” which the 1968 movie, “Charly” was based on. Cliff Robertson won an Academy Award for Best Actor in his role as Charly Gordon, a mentally handicapped man who wanted to become smarter. There was an unfortunate draw back to the drugs he was given to accomplish this goal.

    If added brain power is used for good, then that’d be fine. But, I believe some might exploit the power by using it for criminal/evil intents and that would be VERY BAD. πŸ˜‰ But your write up sounds like this is a film worth seeing.


  5. That sounds like a good movie Mark – I read your review as well. I like the premise of increasing brain function. I doubt I’d take drugs to do it as I believe that drugs often have unexpected side effects. Last thing I want to be is Algernon. I would employ any natural methods to increase awareness. I am a little leary of the conclusion that we “don’t” use all our brain. I don’t doubt that we can’t see or understand more than 10% brain usage, but that does not to say we don’t use it. Examples like the one used by MX4B is perfect. We and other life forms do all sorts of things that are unexplainable to date- we just accept them as being normal. For instance have you ever seen swallows swarm in patterns by the thousands? It is amazing. There is obviously some sort of co-ordinated mental activity – the simultaneousness and speed of action precludes visual cues. And the patterns don’t repeat. I am sure that if swallows are doing mass cognition, we likely are too. Or if a parent suddenly awakes in the middle of the night and knows that something bad has happened to their offspring. I had a serious head-on collision one night (the other guy came over to my side of the road) and my Mother says she awoke at that exact time on the opposite side of the county (Vancouver vs Newfoundland) and knew something was wrong. She called our office and kept trying until she got through to me. Or deja vu – when you know you’ve seen or understood a situation that you have never encountered before – even to the point of knowing the precise words that are going to come from someone’s mouth before they speak. Or one day I was driving and got a bad feeling that I had to stop. I didn’t and didn’t and the feeling got stronger until I finally couldn’t bear it and stopped on a green light. A car full of teenagers raced through the intersection on the red and would have died if I hadn’t stopped – on a green light with no clue why.

    So, I am not sure the question is how we can use more of our brain, but rather what are we already using it for? It is my experience that nature (or God, depending on your view) never lets anything go to waste. Rest assured that if we have a capacity, it is being used somehow. (There are some apparent exceptions to that like the appendix – but it did have use and is on its way out.) I see it as our job to figure out how to understand and better use what we already are using. I really like the Lucy scenario and would enjoy the movie and yet I think our potential (or even current unrecognized) abilities lie in a different direction and are much more impressive than simply being able to better manipulate the world around us. Concepts and abilities that haven’t even occurred to us yet.


    • Good points, Paul. People don’t think about maximizing the current 10 percent, never mind what could or should or would be done with more.

      Drugs to attain it? That opens up so many other avenues of danger and dastardly behavior …


  6. I read somewhere that the 10% thing was a film-makers myth, I hope not because I could certainly do with a few extra percent occasionally. If it’s not then how did the scientist or doctor who came up with that figure…erm…come up with that figure? No, wait, let me guess: three letters – LSD?


  7. Honestly, from one 10 per center to another. (looks both ways, whispers) I think we already use our whole brain. πŸ˜€

    I don’t think I would take drugs to get smarter, I hardly take Tylenol!

    I think learning new things is good for the brain. They say learning another language ranks right up there!

    Diana xo


  8. This looks like one I’ll enjoy eventually, Mark. I’m not sure anything increases my brain power, it just seems to be steadily declining every day, but insanity is starting to look like fun. Yikes, wonder what that says about my brain power?


  9. Is it my imagination or is Scarlett Johansson growing more beautiful by the day? I digress from the point of your post, sorry. When my daughter was evaluated for neurosurgery, the neurologists explained that portions of the brain can be removed and “reserve” areas in the brain would eventually take over. Isn’t that fascinating? I think the brain is the last frontier medically. And I definitely think Sudoku and crosswords helps to keep the old gray matter from atrophying. And maybe writing blogs too!


    • I hope all went well with your daughter, Barbara.

      Yes, Scarlett’s beauty does seem to increase. I agree.

      And, I can only hope that blogging does increase our brain power. The brain is indeed an intrguiing frontier!


  10. One of the concepts my BUD/s instructors told us constantly (usually during the middle of an evolution where we all thought we were dying/drowning/going-crazy, or all of the above) was, β€œGentlemen, your body can do ten times more than your mind is telling you.”

    Therefore, I believe that if we allow SEAL trainees to use more than ten percent of their brains the time-tested methods of training Naval SpecWar forces will be much hindered and National Security will surely be compromised.
    So I vote β€œNo” to the drug.
    Great review Mark.


  11. i like the concept of this film and i’ve read a number of things that confirm that we generally only use a small portion of our brain. this means the potential is huge if we ever learn to tap into more, probably only a matter of time, but like everything else, not everyone will use this for good purposes. i’d like to see the movie, it sounds suspenseful and action packed without aliens or superheroes or robots, just humans who go beyond the norm by a longshot. i also am a scarjo fan and morgan is not too bad himself. ps – i love to do crosswords and sudokus, but just for my own personal challenge, doesn’t seem to have added any brainpower as of yet )

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you underestimate yourself a bit, there, Beth. Look at the way you can short her to ScarJo and have me understand what you mean …

      Enjoy this one. It is fascinating.


  12. I had a martial arts instructor who always told us what we do equals -and he would hold his fingers apart about an inch. And what we are capable of – holds his arms wide open. This post reminds me of that lesson.


  13. Yes I believe people can use more brain power than naturally thought possible, but I dont think people know that they are doing it. Like if someone is terminally ill and they have a lot of faith in God they pray and they believe that they will be healed and if their faith is strong enough many times they are. I think that is why the bible talks about faith so much in the bible and that God has given us the means to do almost anything, but we first have to believe we can. For instance doctors in the nicu have proven that babies whos family visit every day and have a positive attitude survive more often than babies whos family dont.


  14. Thank goodness.
    I have been waiting for this movie.
    How could anyone go wrong with Morgan and Scarlett?
    I’m looking forward to seeing it.

    I would definitely take the drug. If for no other reason but to put the ex on the run instead of the other way around. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I don’t know yet about ‘Let’s Be Cops,’ Jolene, but the trailer looked funny. I usually make up my mind at the last minute!

    I think sometimes reading is a pretty good brain teaser, don’t you?


  16. Hi Mark,

    I don’t do any brain teasers … I know that I should but if I had a choice between brain teaser exercises or reading, then I would choose reading. Plus…..if I can’t get motivated to EXERCISE to shed a few pounds then exercising to get smarter isn’t going to happen, plus the first time I get something wrong or get frustrated I will just toss it aside or delete the app from my phone. haha.

    OHHH…..are you going to be reviewing the movie “Lets be Cops” ?

    (p.s I picked #2)


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