REEL DEAL: “LUCY” Disarms Hard-To-Please Critics WIth Intentive Thrills

“The summer’s coolest, juiciest, smartest action movie.” This is how respected film critic Richard Corliss of Time Magazine, describes Universal Pictures' action-thriller “Lucy” from director Luc Besson and starring Scarlett Johansson.

“This female-glorifying picture not only shames all PG-13-rated summer spectacles for their wimpitude but also lures the audience into accompanying it on a third-act trip of ambitious movie madness,” continues Corliss in his review. “It begins with a vision of the first known hominid, the 3 million-year-old female discovered in Ethiopia in 1974 and nicknamed Lucy, then bombards you with allusive montages and the intricate drizzle of computer algorithms, and ultimately spirals into transcendent, Kubrickian speculation, all while satisfying the basic movie appetite for twists and thrills.”

Corliss is not the lone voice in praising “Lucy” to high heavens. Other discriminating critics have heaped accolades to the inventive, rip-roaring actioner – including the hard-to-please triumvirate of Manohla Dargis (The New York Times), Claudia Puig (USA Today) and Justin Chang (Variety).

In her review of “Lucy,” Dargis writes, “Mr. Besson’s particular kink for fatal female beauties receives an entertaining workout in his latest film, `Lucy,' in which he again introduces a young woman who undergoes a remarkable metamorphosis that leads to convulsions of extreme violence and an increasingly frenzied visual style...Buoyed by Ms. Johansson’s presence, Mr. Besson keeps his entertainment machine purring.”

“With her ability to project vulnerability, confidence and steely strength, Johansson is convincing in a part that progresses from terrorized victim to increasingly brilliant hero,” raves Puig in her review. “The 29-year-old actress has been making compelling choices lately. Last year's roles included Joseph Gordon-Levitt's dream Jersey girl in `Don Jon,' the engaging disembodied voice of an operating system in `Her,' and a seductive extra-terrestrial in `Under the Skin.' She also has played Russian superhero Black Widow in the Avengers series, most recently in this year's `Captain America: The Winter Soldier.' It makes sense that someone who began her acting career at age 10 probably needs extremely diverse acting challenges as she approaches 30. The audience is in much the same position. It's tough not to be dazzled by this operatic action film's blend of pop-philosophy, biology and silly delirium.”

Finally, Chang admiringly writes, “After her mesmerizingly out-there performances as an artificially intelligent being in `Her' and a come-hither extraterrestrial in `Under the Skin,' Scarlett Johansson takes a logical next step into the title role of `Lucy,' an agreeably goofy, high-concept speculative thriller about the first human being to successfully harness 100% of her brainpower. In no other sense, however, does the word `logical' apply to writer-director Luc Besson’s return to blockbuster form — which is to say, his latest aggressively stylish, self-consciously feminist, gratuitously globe-trotting pulp-trash extravaganza. Giddily recycling everything from `2001: A Space Odyssey' and `The Matrix' to yakuza actioners and National Geographic documentaries, it’s a garish, trippy, wildly uneven and finally quite disarming piece of work, graced by a moment-to-moment unpredictability that will pique audience curiosity...”

From “La Femme Nikita” and “The Professional” to “The Fifth Element,” writer/director Luc Besson has created some of the toughest, most memorable female action heroes in recent cinematic history. Now, Besson directs Scarlett Johansson and Academy Award® winner Morgan Freeman in “Lucy,” an action-thriller that examines the possibility of what one human could truly do if she unlocked 100 percent of her brain capacity and accessed the furthest reaches of her mind.

Opening across the Philippines on August 06, “Lucy” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

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