A woman I work with once told me ‘I don’t believe in God, but I believe in something…’
If such a person would submit to forensic questioning, and would answer honestly, it would be quickly established that they were just afraid of death. This doesn’t mean afraid of dying, it means afraid of being dead – of not existing. It is, initially, a horrid thing to consider.
This is why O’Brien tells Winston that he will be vaporised, removed from history, that no record of his existence will remain: he was playing to an innate fear of the dark in all of us, and those lines where O’Brien talks of deleting Winston from history are where religion and the state are fused.
It’s no coincidence that human fears find themselves being the inspiration for all kind of fiction – from rape to death, and Lucy is no different. Ultimately, it’s a movie about surviving death and is religious propaganda for that reason.
Name me a religion which doesn’t offer the survival of death as one of the benefits?
The film is mash-up of other movies: Limitless (2011) and The Matrix (1999) most obviously, but there’s also allusions to The Hulk (which is really Stephenson’s Jekyll and Hyde) and (why not) I Spit on your Grave (1978, 2010) for the hot-chick-revenge-movie angle.
There’s also – and who could miss it – the tedious feminist line in that the film starts with Lucy being trapped with handcuffs and forced to do something against her will by a man; then gets tortured, beaten and so on, by men and gets something stuck inside her against her will. I mean, like – hello?
All the classic elements are there. The only nice guys are Morgan Freeman as the fatherly scientist and the ugly French cop who plays the token ugly and gets (better than nothing) a brief snog with Miss Scarlett.
I read someone slagged the film off because it uses the myth that humans access but 10% of their brains, but it can never be right to attack a fiction writer for writing fiction, and this criticism is misplaced – the movie is good fun, but it’s not hard science fiction – it’s more just disguised religious fantasy fiction.
If it was better (and it’s not bad) I’d have more to say about it.