starring Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish, Andrew Howard, Robert De Niro
screenplay by Leslie Dixon, based on the novel The Dark Fields by Alan Glynn
directed by Neil Burger
by Ian Pugh SPOILER WARNING IN EFFECT. Its plot follows a drably straight line and its Joe Gillis narration is tiresome; the most original idea that Limitless has is that, hey, maybe drug abuse isn't such a bad thing after all. That snarky notion extends past the actual narrative into the presentation itself. Whether that's enough to sustain your interest is, ultimately, up to you. Eddie (Bradley Cooper) is a down-and-out novelist when his ex-brother-in-law Vernon (Johnny Whitworth) introduces him to NZT, a miracle pill that increases his creative and intellectual prowess to the nth degree. With a wealth of suppressed knowledge suddenly at his disposal, Eddie is overcome with, yes, limitless ambition: he completes his long-stalled novel in four days and goes on to learn new skills, talents, and languages in the blink of an eye. As the drug's power only increases with time and dosage and won't let him stand still, he applies his newfound intelligence to the stock market (leading to an encounter with a corporate big shot (one of Robert De Niro's trademark extended cameos)) and plans to further increase his wealth with money borrowed from the mob (leading to an encounter with a lowlife thug (Andrew Howard)). Then come the unexpected side effects--such as the random murders and hired goons who seem to follow him everywhere. If Limitless isn't about the horrors of drug addiction, then what is it about? How the attempt to "enhance" one's own identity removes that identity completely, perhaps? Maybe the overconfidence that attends brilliance? No on both counts, but it's a wild ride while it lasts. And that, in itself, is sort of the point.