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Lucy (IMAX in some cinemas)


Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Amr Waked, Min-sik Choi, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Analeigh Tipton, Pilou Asbaek, Nicolas Phongpheth

Director: Luc Besson

Another of M Besson's folies de grandeur, full of flashing, DNA-style images and frantic, foolish-but-fun violent action, including an inevitable if well-choreographed car chase.

At large in Taiwei, American Lucy (Johansson) - she never gives another name - is asked to deliver a suitcase by an ex boyfriend. When she refuses, he handcuffs her to the case and gives her $500.

Rushed in to a Chinese megacrook (Choi), whose aim seems to be to blow away as many people as possible, Lucy survives being forced to open the case: it contains packets of a new drug, CPH4, which increases human brain power with eventual lethal consequences. Lucy, who sees her ex swiftly riddled with bullets, is one of four mules selected to carry the packets to an unknown destination.

After having them surgically inserted Lucy, whose pack has leaked, finds herself with greatly enhanced cerebral powers, which are increasing by the hour. Ramming knives into the Chinese warlord's hands, she contacts a French policeman (Waked) to track down the other mules, at the same time beaming herself into the presence of Professor Norman (Freeman), who has been studying human brain capacity (usually at 10%) for years.

The Chinese are in hot pursuit, but Lucy is no longer a 'normal' person. "I don't feel pain, fear, desire...all the things that make us human are fading away,' she says, although quite how greatly increased cerebral powers enable her to hoist numerous gunmen on to the ceiling is a little beyond my brain capacity.

Johansson makes it buzz and is inevitably, with her lascivious looks and laconic delivery, the chief reason to see this: Besson's lucky to have her.

David Quinlan

USA 2014. UK Distributor: Universal. Colour by Kodak.
89 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 1, Swearing 0.

Review date: 17 Aug 2014