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August 8th, 2014

Movie Review - Lucy

Lucy



Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Min-sik Choi, Amr Waked, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Pilou Asbæk, Analeigh Tipton, and more.


Directed by: Luc Besson Written by: Luc Besson Cinematography by: Thierry Arbogast Music by: Eric Serra


Premise: Studying and partying overseas, Lucy gets forced by her new boyfriend to deliver undisclosed goods in a briefcase to a client. Then her boyfriend is killed before her eyes and Mr. Jang, Richard's client, abducts her. A new product is about to hit the market and Mr. Jang is making sure nothing goes wrong. So Lucy, with three others, is forced to have surgery so they can act as mules for delivering the new drug  into four other countries. When she slaps one of her captors for taking advantage, he stupidly beats her and ruptures the bag inside her. Rather than die of an overdose, Lucy's mind opens, using more of its potential. But the very drug that has opened her world is killing her, so the race to reach 100% brain use before she dies is on. Mr. Jang, however, is not to be thwarted so easily. (Rated R)


Review:


1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Scarlett Johansson should get an Oscar for her work on the first fifteen minutes or so of the film. There is never any doubt that she is a woman utterly terrified by the predicament she finds herself in. She literally shook with her character's fear. A truly amazing piece of acting on her part.


Later in the film, her awesome work in the beginning creates a masterful contrast to the calm, almost detached manner as her character changes. Min-Sik Choi gave me goose bumps. And in a fun turn, he's super calm and cold at the beginning, but by the end of the film he's a frothing madman. Amr Waked was fun as the French police captain caught in the whirlwind that is Lucy 2.0. Morgan Freeman was Morgan Freeman - need I say more?


2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: The special effects teams did a great job on this film. From the cool cell subdivision sequences to the bubbling organic computer, there were lots of great visuals going on. They also did a great job playing with time and locations as the audience follows Lucy during different sections of her expanding mind. The disassembly of the buildings as time flowed backwards was a very nice sequence. Lucy losing cohesion in the plane was another great bit of CGI.


3) Plot/Story - Total Thumbs Up: Mr. Besson plays a lot with contrasts and contradictions in the film. As I touched on earlier, there's a swapping dichotomy between the character of Lucy and Mr. Jang. You can even see some the same play between Mr. Jang and Captain Pierre, as one can't accept and rebels against the current reality, while the other adapts. There's even a nice loop effect is woven in with regards to Lucy's name.


Some interesting themes get explored - life, death, how to measure worth, what helps keep us human. Yet all the deep talk and themes are wrapped in so much action there's never time to breathe, let alone get bored.


One gimmick employed in the film, especially at the beginning, was the shift of topics without them actually being a real shift. As Lucy argues with her boyfriend about not wanting to do him a favor, then Morgan Freeman lectures about theories with regards to the brain's potential, moving shots or nature, and back again to shifting between each other again - at first the action seems random, but it all slowly coalesces into a tightly related whole. And while this has been tried before and not always to good effect, the use of it in this film was pulled off well and to good effect.


4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: "Lucy" is filled with stunts. Murder, shoot outs, car chases, airport chases, full out gun battles in hospital hallways and places of learning. They even fire off a bazooka indoors!


Then we have Lucy - with stabbings, beatings, pinning people to ceilings, throwing them across the room, crashing cars, and more stunt inducing fun. Oh, yeah.


5) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: From the streets of Taipei to the streets of Paris, the film had a great variety of locations and flavors. Some good panoramic shots really enhanced the experiences shared with us as Lucy continued on her mental voyage.


Conclusion: "Lucy" is a non-stop thrill ride. Some nice thought provoking science mixed with ugly reality wrapped around a ton of action. The R rating should be taken seriously where kids are concerned. There were enough stunts and flying lead to fill any action film buff's cravings and more.


Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic
www.gloriaoliver.com

Novels


JEWEL OF THE GODS

(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!


Excerpt:
"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."





INNER DEMONS

(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!


Excerpt:
The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."



THE PRICE OF MERCY

(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Excerpt:

Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.




CROSS-EYED DRAGON TROUBLES
(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”

Excerpt:

“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.



WILLING SACRIFICE
(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”

Excerpt:

Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”



IN THE SERVICE OF SAMURAI
(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”

Excerpt:

Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.



VASSAL OF EL
(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”

Excerpt:

Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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