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Lucy Review


Luc Besson gleefully combines two of his favourite movie elements - fit women and wildly insane action - in this raucous guilty pleasure. It's almost as if he's trying to make his own version of Inception, but this is one of those films that only pretends to be brainy and existential. It's actually a slick, silly, improbable action romp. And it's a lot of fun.

The title refers both to the very first female and an American student (Scarlett Johansson) living in Taipei whose loser boyfriend (A Hijacking's Pilou Asbaek) ropes her into making a delivery to notoriously vicious crime boss Jang (Oldboy's Choi Min-sik). Grabbed by Jang's goons, she's forced to become a mule, with a kilo of experimental drugs implanted in her abdomen. When it bursts, the drug allows her to access much more than the 10 percent of the brain humans normally use. By the time she hits 20%, she can already control people and objects around her. And the percentage keeps climbing. So she heads to Paris to meet mental capacity expert Norman (Morgan Freeman) and figure out what to do. But Jang and his army of thugs are in hot pursuit, so she enlists a local cop (Syriana's Amr Waked) to help.

Besson doesn't like to hang around, so the film takes off like a shot, only barely pausing for breath in its brisk 89-minute running time. On-screen captions keep us updated on Lucy's brain capacity, and it's great fun seeing every advancement she makes on her way to 100%. This allows Besson to indulge in deliriously enjoyable mind-bending action sequences that play out like he's a kid with a giant set of very cool toys. Outrageous car chases, giant explosions and random epic shootouts fill the screen as Lucy expands her mind, begins to bend reality around her and transcends the limits of numbers and letters.

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What The Critics Are Saying About Scarlett Johansson's 'Lucy'

Scarlett Johansson Morgan Freeman Luc Besson Amr Waked Choi Min-sik

Early reviews of Scarlett Johansson’s new movie Lucy are piling up ahead of its theatrical release, and it’s looking like the film is an entertaining, if mixed, bag.

Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson plays the lead in forthcoming thriller Lucy

Directed by Luc Besson, Johansson plays Lucy, a woman living in Taipei and forced to work for drug gangs as a mule. After the drugs she is carrying absorb themselves into her body, her brain begins to use more than the normal 10% of its capacity and becomes close to superhuman.

Continue reading: What The Critics Are Saying About Scarlett Johansson's 'Lucy'

Lucy - Luc Besson Featurette

The cast and crew of 'Lucy' - actors Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman and Amr Waked, and producer Virginie Besson-Silla - talk about their experiences working with director Luc Besson in a short featurette ahead of the release of the new sci-fi movie.

'The most interesting thing about working with Luc is that he's the cameraman', Amr reveals. 'He's a director that knows precisely every little atom on his frame.'

'He's a formidable type of character because he knows what he sees in his mind and wants that vision to be executed perfectly', Scarlett adds, as Luc admits that he thinks his technique works so well because he doesn't cut. '[The actors] appreciate that a lot because all this part before action is where they have to prep and if they have to do that every thirty seconds, it's just exhausting for them', he says.

Lucy Trailer

Lucy was just a regular girl living in Taipei, Taiwan before she was brutally kidnapped by a gang while out partying. She wakes up after some hours in a strange room feeling groggy and is informed by a crime boss that she has had drugs implanted into her abdomen for transportation. She is held hostage and chained up, but during a particularly heated confrontation with one of her captors, she takes a blow to the stomach causing the parcel of drugs to leak into her system. As the drugs take hold of her, she starts to feel alert, agile and strongly tolerant of pain. She has the drugs removed from her stomach at the hospital but she has already absorbed enough that she can somewhere take in all information around her and remember it, as well as instantly change her appearance and move objects and people with mind control. With her brain already at the superhuman stage, Lucy starts to worry that she has no humanity left.

BAFTA nominated Luc Besson ('The Fifth Element', 'The Transporter', 'Taken', 'District 13') has directed and written this thrilling sci-fi flick about the hypothetical limitlessness of the human mind. 'Lucy' will be released in the UK on August 22nd 2014. 

Click here to read Lucy movie review

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen Review

The heavy hand of a screenwriter (or perhaps novelist) intrudes on an otherwise jaunty, engaging little story, fruitlessly trying to stir up suspense when none was needed. And filmmaker Hallstrom indulges in rather too much sappy sentiment.

Fred (McGregor) is a UK government fishing expert assigned to help a wildly wealthy sheikh (Waked) create a fly-fishing site in the Yemen. Working with the sheikh's financial advisor Harriet (Blunt), Fred struggles to overcome his doubts about the scheme. But he's won over by the fact that the sheikh is both passionate about fishing and has enough cash to achieve the seemingly impossible. As Fred begins to fall for Harriet, he'll need to make a decision about his estranged wife (Stirling), while Harriet's special-services boyfriend (Mison) has gone missing in action.

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Picture - Amr Waked , Tuesday 10th April 2012

Amr Waked Tuesday 10th April 2012 'Salmon Fishing in the Yemen' European premiere held at the Odeon Kensington - Arrivals

Amr Waked

Picture - Amr Waked , Tuesday 10th April 2012

Amr Waked Tuesday 10th April 2012 'Salmon Fishing in the Yemen' European Premiere held at the Odeon Kensington - Arrivals.

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Salmon Fishing In The Yemen Trailer

Dr. Fred Jones is a middle-aged scientist working for the National Centre for Fisheries Excellence in London. One day, he gets a call from a Harriet Chetwode-Talbot, who works for a sheik. The sheik has had an idea to introduce the British sport of salmon fishing to the Yemen, in the Middle East. However, Fred flatly refuses when meeting with Harriet in London, saying the idea is ridiculous and pointing out that the fish could not survive in the very different environment. He leaves the meeting and the matter is soon forgotten about.

Sometime later, British politicians receive word that a bomb exploded in the Middle East. Politician Bridget Maxwell is reluctant to release the news story, saying that she does not want to make the war on Afghanistan any worse. Instead, she instructs her colleagues to find a positive news story from the Middle East to release. After several failed attempts, they discover plans to introduce salmon fishing in the Yemen.

With pressure from the government, Fred has no choice but to go ahead with the idea and so he travels to the Yemen to meet the sheik and Harriet. During his time there, he discovers to his surprise that the sport is a great success. He also finds himself falling for Harriet. While Fred has always had a dull life, he soon finds himself becoming happier and more relaxed the longer he stays in the Yemen and with Harriet.

Based on the novel of the same name by Paul Torday

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, Kristin Scott Thomas, Amr Waked, Rachael Stirling and Tom Mison

Directed by: Lasse Hallstrom
Written by: Simon Beaufoy (screenplay)
Produced by: Paul Webster

Picture - Amr Waked Toronto, Canada, Saturday 10th September 2011

Amr Waked Saturday 10th September 2011 36th Annual Toronto International Film Festival - After-Party for 'Salmon Fishing in the Yemen' at the BlackBerry Lounge at Brassaii. Toronto, Canada

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