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Luc Besson loves his lady warriors. Beginning with the original La Femme Nikita, and then in action movies like The Professional, The Fifth Element, and The Messenger, he’s introduced his own brand of memorable action heroines. Scarlett Johansson’s Lucy might be the most hardcore of the bunch. She goes from party girl to super-evolved sorceress when the experimental drug an Asian gangster has smuggled in her body spills into her bloodstream, raising her brain activity to 100 percent capacity. “Lucy is a thinly drawn character, just someone who needs to survive,” writes EW’s Jeff Labrecque. “But Johansson vividly »
- EW staff
At the beginning of the year who would have thought that two Scarlett Johansson movies, released mere months apart, would invite such perfectly legitimate comparisons to 2001: A Space Odyssey? The more surprising detail of that little tidbit is just how radically different those two movies are. One, Jonathan Glazer’s nine-plus-years-in-the-making Under the Skin—a shocking yet downbeat tale of Johansson as an alien predator stalking human males throughout Scotland—was a revelatory cinematic experience which commented on the delicate distinctions of humankind. The other is Luc Besson’s batshit insane, Lucy.
The cinematic quality between the two are complete polar opposites, and yet both feature Johansson in a near-robotic role with similar thesis statements about life. There’s something for everybody with these two films—the high brow and the low, and a little bit of everything in between—but I’ll give you one guess as to »
- Sean Hutchinson
Once upon a time, Luc Besson was a kind of anomaly. A popular director from France whose visually ravishing films featured both expertly made action scenes and doses of dreamy lyricism, he transcended cultural boundaries. Back then, of course, films like Subway, La Femme Nikita, and Léon: The Professional stood in sharp contrast to movies starring macho men like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. Even his sci-fi action epic The Fifth Element, with its poetic flourishes and offbeat sense of fun, was nothing like the sci-fi blockbusters Hollywood churned out.Over the years, Besson has become a successful producer of more bread-and-butter hits like the Taken and Transporter franchises, but now, with the Scarlett Johansson sci-fi flick Lucy, he returns to the world of stylized, lyrical action. Besson takes an enticingly silly premise — Lucy (Johansson) is a hapless drug mule who accidentally ingests a powerful new drug that allows her »
- Bilge Ebiri
Two big films are out this weekend, which one is worth your time and money? First, we have .Hercules. starring Dwayne Johnson based on the graphic novel by Steve Moore. From director Brett Ratner, is this .Hercules. much better than .The Legend of Hercules. starring Kellan Lutz from director Renny Harlin?
We also have .Lucy. starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman. This one.s from director Luc Besson who gave us memorable female characters in .La Femme Nikita,. .The Professional,. and .The Fifth Element.. Is .Lucy. worthy of Besson.s booty-kicking heroines? Find out in my movie review below:
Official .Hercules. synopsis
Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures' film Hercules, starring Dwayne Johnson, bows on July 25th. Based on Radical Comics' Hercules by Steve Moore, this ensemble-action film is a revisionist take on the classic myth, Hercules. The epic action film also stars Golden Globe Winner Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Joseph Fiennes, »
Directed by: Luc Besson
Running Time: 1 hr 35 mins
Release Date: July 25, 2014
Plot: Accidental high dosages of a mental drug cause an accidental mule (Johansson) to embark on achieving 100% full brain usage.
Who’S It For? Those who like their action movies to be trippy.
Lucy is unmistakably a product of writer/director/producer Luc Besson simply by its structure. It applies the same type of ticking-clock storytelling that has motivated the tension of his projects like The Transporter, Taken, and 3 Days to Kill; movies that he helped create as a writer and/or producer, but did not direct. In Besson’s own take on the structure he helped fortify for others, Lucy begins with the tensity of these movies, but then it warps.
This film’s transporter is Johansson’s Lucy, an American living in China who is tricked »
- Nick Allen
How can a film exist somewhere between being an ambitious Hollywood oddity and a wacky hot mess of a film? Days after seeing Luc Besson’s new film Lucy I’m still trying to figure this out. Going into a Besson film you have to expect a strong female-centered action-fest. The French director has made a career of this going back to La Femme Nikita, to The Fifth Element, all the way to his more recent Indiana Jones and Allan Quatermain inspired period piece The Extraordinary Adventure Of Adele Blanc-sec (which exists relatively unnoticed and is worth checking out if you’re a fan of pulp adventure stories). However Lucy kind of exists in a different conversation than these previously mentioned films for a lot of reasons. First of all, despite her stunning features, Johansson’s Lucy is nowhere near as memorable as some of the leads in these other films. »
- Michael Haffner
The son of scuba-diving instructors, Luc Besson came of age exploring the depths of the ocean floor and inventing stories out of the debris he would find along the shore. Some 50 years later, he is still playing with rocks in the sand — only now his shoreline is the river Seine and his castle a 667,000-square-foot film studio called Cite du Cinema (literally Cinema City). Built from the shell of a 1930s thermal power plant in the Paris suburb of Saint Denis, the sprawling complex — which includes nine soundstages, a 500-seat auditorium and a full-service restaurant — is headquarters for Besson’s prolific production and distribution outfit, EuropaCorp, plus a host of affiliated vendors and two film schools.
On a recent Friday afternoon, despite a bank-holiday weekend in France, Cite du Cinema was a hive of activity as editors, sound mixers and visual effects artists readied two new EuropaCorp productions for their »
- Scott Foundas
Lucy should win the weekend, marking the first time a film helmed by director Luc Besson has captured the top spot since all the way back in 1997 (The Fifth Element). Has any other director gone 17 years between winsc The only thing that could derail it is that R rating. Only four weekends in 2014 have had an R winner -- Lone Survivor, 300: Rise of an Empire, Neighbors and 22 Jump Street. Four out of 29, not promising, but the tracking is there, and even though Scarlett Johansson has no actual track record of box office success as the lead, I'm willing to take the plunge and bring it in at $34.9 million. The other game in town is Hercules. I can't think of anyone who wants to see this, though clearly Mtc tracking doesn't exclusively poll my pals. I'm going slightly high at $24.5 million, but this one is a mystery. Given the non-success »
- Laremy Legel
Over the course of his dozen-plus films as a writer-director, Parisian auteur Luc Besson has become known for his stylish inversions of schlock genre fare and a certain, shall we call it, Vive la femme attitude toward women.
Time and again, his movies place emotionally fragile female characters in physically perilous situations: a conflicted hit-woman struggling with the perils of her job in 1990’s La Femme Nikita, 12-year old Natalie Portman on the run as an assassin-in-training in The Professional, and Milla Jovovich’s universe-saving alien Leeloo in The Fifth Element (1997) among them. Besson’s latest multiplex offering appears set to follow that template. »
- Chris Lee
In the Sky With Diamonds: Besson’s Latest a Crock of Crack-pot Sci-Fi
It’s rather a shame to report that Luc Besson’s latest directorial effort, Lucy, is an underwhelming disappointment. A host of intriguing ideas get liquidated by silliness, uncertainty, and rampant narrative contradiction. Sure, at least this film doesn’t generate that kicked-in-the-teeth feeling that his last film, 2013’s The Family so generously employed, but for a film that initially promises to bring us the kind of fetishized ass-kicking females that graced his most notable efforts, like La Femme Nikita and The Fifth Element, its inability to reach this potential is doubly frustrating. Oddly structured and clearly uninterested in employing consistent logic in how increased use of brain capacity eventually leads to super powers, the whole endeavor feels like a half-baked idea carelessly patched together.
- Nicholas Bell
If you're hung up on the fact Lucy perpetuates the myth humans only use 10% of their brain then I don't know why you're reading this review. However, if you thought Transcendence was a talky bore and wish there had been more action and less jibber-jabber then you might want to stick around since the two films essentially approach the idea of the singularity, but get there using dramatically different means. Directed by Luc Besson (The Professional, The Fifth Element), Lucy tells the story of the title character, played by Scarlett Johansson with all the wooden acuity of Keanu Reeves, as she is forced into serving as a drug mule, carrying a package of a new drug next to her intestines. Unfortunately for her, when she's kicked in the stomach a small amount of the drug leaks into her system, giving her abilities beyond that of a "normal" human being and »
- Brad Brevet
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 but may put off those who prefer their summer movies on the more conventional side.
Although it represents a significant roll of the dice as »
- Justin Chang
Nine years ago, Luc Besson came across a theory that humans only use 10% of their brain capacity. A quick Google search would have informed the French filmmaker responsible for cult classics like La Femma Nikita (1990) and The Fifth Element (1997) that many scientists believe we actually use our entire brain — but the idea of unlocking the mind's "untapped" potential stuck. What started as some casual leafing through books on the topic turned into an obsession that involved seeking out professors and engaging in long philosophical discussions about the power of gray matter. »
Not many people can say they enjoy watching themselves die, but Gary Oldman clearly did on “Conan.” The actor got a good laugh during Tuesday's show when host Conan O'Brien showed him a montage (above) of his many movie death scenes. See video: Gary Oldman Apologizes for Inflammatory Remarks During Kimmel: ‘I Am An A-hole’ Oldman, who can currently be seen in theaters as the leader of the human resistance in “Dawn in the Planet of the Apes,” has died in 13 movies. “True Romance,” “Sid and Nancy,” “Harry Potter,” “The Fifth Element” and “Air Force One” are among his most famous farewells. »
- Greg Gilman
Luc Besson's sci-fi thriller Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson as a drug mule who develops superhuman abilities, opens July 25. We have a prize pack to give away to two readers that includes: A Lucy t-shirt and hat A $50 Visa gift card Hit the jump to find out how you can win our Lucy giveaway. In order to enter the contest, email email@example.com with your name and address and include The Rover Giveaway in the headline. You also need to “like” Collider on Facebook. The giveaway will be open until July 30th and is only open to residents of the United States. Also, only one entry per person. Once the giveaway ends, we’ll look over the entries, make sure you’ve liked us on Facebook, and randomly pick the winners. Official synopsis: From La Femme Nikita and The Professional to The Fifth Element, writer/director Luc Besson has created some of the toughest, »
- Brendan Bettinger
French filmmaker Luc Besson has won fan-adoration for his sexy thriller La Femme Nikita and his sprawling science-fiction adventure The Fifth Element. But it's The Professional (A.K.A. Leon: The Professional) that is generally regarded as his best, most beloved offering. Like so many things fans can't get enough of, there's been speculation about a potential sequel to The Professional for years. But what does Besson say about this possibility? The answer might surprise you. While doing the press rounds for his upcoming female-fronted thriller Lucy, Luc Besson was asked directly by JoBlo about the possibility of a Professional sequel that would center on the Mathilda character originally played by a young Natalie Portman. To this, Besson responded: "Natalie is old now, she's a mother. [Laughs] It's too late. If I got an idea tomorrow about a sequel, of course I would do it. But I never came up »
I have no idea what Luc Besson’s Lucy will be like. But the more I see of it, the more intrigued I get with Scarlett Johansson’s latest big screen outing. The latest clip, which is quite mild in the Nsfw stakes, is incredibly bad ass. It’s also quite funny. Part of me wonders though, bad assery aside, will this turn into something like Salt with Angelina Jolie. Hopefully not as Johansson looks to be having a blast here. And above all else, it might give us some feel for a Black Widow movie, should one ever see the light of day! Still though Besson hasn’t written anything decent in years, let alone directed anything good in a similar time frame. Hopefully this is a return to form, as it’s a long time fucking coming! Released: July 25th USA / August 22nd Ireland & UK Synopsis: From La Femme Nikita »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Vic Barry)
After a relatively chill couple of weeks, brace yourself for the return of some more action-pumped summer fare. Lucy, premiering this Friday, promises to inject theaters with some Scarlett Johansson-action prowess, while Manhattan, with a pilot airing on Sunday, will place a bomb right in the middle of family drama. It’s tense stuff, so maybe don’t jump into the action all at once. Take some time to cool down with Woody Allen, or maybe Richard Linklater.
Here’s this week’s pop culture schedule:
The Real Housewives of New Jersey, 9 p.m., Bravo
It’s Christmas »
- Jackson McHenry
In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 30 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the new film!
“Lucy,” which is rated “R” and opens on July 25, 2014, also stars Morgan Freeman, Min-sik Choi, Analeigh Tipton, Amr Waked, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Pilou Asbæk from acclaimed writer and director Luc Besson (“Transporter” films, “Taken” films, “Taxi” films, “The Fifth Element”). Note: You must be 17+ to win and attend this “R”-rated screening.
To win your free “Lucy” passes courtesy of HollywoodChicago.com, just get interactive with our social media widget below. That’s it! This screening is on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 7 p.m. in downtown Chicago. The more social actions you complete, the more points you score and the higher yours odds of winning! »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Internationally-renowned filmmaker Luc Besson teams up with Scarlett Johansson for Lucy, which centers on a young woman who truly unlocks her full potential. Scarlett Johansson stars as an unwilling drug mule, who transports a bag of mysterious drugs inside her stomach. When the package ruptures, she is given incredible new abilities that defy human logic and could change the world as we know it.
We have a contest lined up where fans can win a $100 Visa Gift card, plus a hat and t-shirt from this action-thriller, arriving in theaters July 25. These prizes will be gone before you know it, so take a look at how you can win below.
$100 Visa Gift Card
Here's How To Win!
Just "Like" (fan) the MovieWeb Facebook page (below) and then leave a comment below telling us why these prizes must be yours!
If you already "Like" MovieWeb, just »
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