I think about Limitless more often than any person should: occasionally. Topping the film's lengthy list of shortcomings is the stinging presence of wasted potential (funny, since it's a movie about the wasted potential of the human mind) capping its high stakes exploration of the expansive question, "What would happen if we used 100 percent of our brains?" with the softball answer, "We'd be pretty good at predicting stock patterns and learning new languages." In Lucy, we have the exact same hypothetical, albeit delivered in a different kind of story altogether — Limitless was effectively an addiction thriller, Lucy is an action/sci-fi. But the answers are much bigger.
American slacker Scarlett Johansson comes about her newfound mental capacity much like Bradley Cooper is, by way of experimental drugs. Lucy (Johansson), an effectively anonymous character with whom we identify principally over just how regular she seems to be, has the substance thrust into her system by a sociopathic crime kingpin (Choi Min-sik) — neither party has a clue what CPH4 (which lacks the nominal panache of Substance D or Melange or Dropper or Chems) is capable of doing with Lucy's brain, nor even does top-of-his-game academic Morgan Freeman, whose main purpose in the movie is to be there to explain to us what the hell is going on... and inject a subtle plug for his upcoming film Dolphin Tale 2. But it's this grand mystery, this shriek of possibility, that makes Lucy a fairly riveting experiment. And from one rather unexpected source: Luc Besson, who has never veered too far from the straight-and-narrow path, entertains quite a few what ifs with his latest picture.