Lots of people are talking about how well Lucy did this past weekend, beating out all competition. And while normally I'd be excited to see a female-led film in the top spot (despite my rampant and deep-seated dislike for Scarlett Johansson), I want us all to pretend that Lucy never happened.
It. Never. Happened.
Know why? Because the science is shitty.
Because the titular role is the only significant speaking role for a woman in the entire damned movie. We cannot (CANNOT) settle for this being a movie "for" feminism.
Because the trope of a woman getting psychically violated and used by a group of men is old, reinforces a lot of negative gender stereotypes on both sides, and frankly if you combine Brokedown Palace and Limitless we've already had this movie poured into our long-suffering eye-holes.
And because, most importantly, it's one of the most racist things on a screen right now. The bad guys? Asian men. The entire movie focuses on her need to get out from under the grips of a group of villains who are pretty exclusively people of color...and if that's not a loaded message, I don't know what is.
Prime example? This scene.
Lucy walks up to a random, innocent man on the street, asks if he speaks English, and then in order to control and intimidate his friend (or something?) shoots him.
She is not in a country where the majority of the population is expected to speak English. She is a random white lady walking around Taipei waving a gun in people's faces and shooting them when they don't speak English.
ETA: Helpful commentor Liza19 points out that this scene below has it's own issues, too:
"Also the Chinese writing in the background does not make any sense because if you translate it, it says: "Keep Clean. Apple, scallop & ginger, orange, tomato, grape". That is so fucked up and Hollywood remains the worst."
Hollywood is rampant with examples of racist villain tropes. In the early years of movie making, it was Native Americans and African Americans, the latter of which has lingered and is even more pervasive than ever in some ways. During the Cold War, it was Russians and later Chinese. Particularly after 9/11 it became anyone from the Middle East or Muslim, and of late it seems like the unwelcome immigrant (largely Spanish speaking, of course) and the (often sexless) Asian male are coming back into favor, between Lucy and revival of Red Dawn (where the villain was famously edited before release in Asia to be North Korea in order to not lose the Chinese box office).
So. Hollywood. Ignore this movie. It never happened. It did so poorly that it actually ceased to exist. There is a black hole now where Lucy used to be. Don't try to sell me on this "female empowerment" and "strong female character" crap if it comes with no other women in the film and even more racism than your average Disney cartoon. I'm just not interested.
I'm gonna go with this suggestion and rewatch Thelma and Louise instead. Because at least that way I'm seeing something that passes the Bechdel Test.