Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Now that’s entertainment. But I will have you know, however, that well after ‘Limitless’ had ended and after I had spent some quiet time alone going over a few things in my brain, examining a plot point here and a plot point there, there could be a problem or two within this movie’s narrative that we may or may not discuss. It depends on how I feel. But while I was sitting in my uncomfortable movie seat watching this movie in real time, I had no such issues. This movie here was an awful lot of fun.

Bradley Cooper blesses us with his presence today as the character of Eddie Morra. Right off the bat we can tell you that this movie grooves a fastball right into one of Bradley Cooper’s unique talents as an actor, that being the ability to talk fast and smile broadly at the same time. If Bradley Cooper weren’t a movie star I’m pretty damn sure he’d be the number one salesman at the local used car lot. Anyway, Eddie is a loser. Slovenly, lazy, broke, just lost his girl and is about to be homeless. Then purely by chance he meets his scurrilous ex brother-in-law (Johnny Whitworth) on the street. This is New York City. What are the chances? They have a drink, the brother-in-law lets us know that he’s still a little scurrilous, but he gives Eddie a little gift. A pill. Eddie is reticent because when he knew the guy he was a drug dealer, but he informs Eddie that those days are way behind and him and this drug is safe and FDA approved. He’s a lying bastard.

Eddie, with nothing to lose, takes this pill. Well, you know what the movie is about and the other 80% of Eddie’s brain is now unlocked. It’s like Ginkgo Biloba that actually works. The cool thing about how they handled this is that the drug doesn’t necessarily make you smarter, it just gives you focus and makes you more aware. Things you forgot a long time ago, you now remember and you remember them in a way that’s actually functional and beneficial. In just a few hours Eddie helps a young woman with a term paper, gets to have sex with her, is no longer slovenly and finishes the first couple of chapters of a book he’s supposed be working on. When morning comes the old Eddie is back and he needs more drugs.

Just know that Eddie gets his drugs and that we won’t be talking about the ex brother-in-law anymore. In no time flat Eddie goes from Zero to Hero. He learns languages, makes fast friends, learns the market, finishes his book, has more sex with more women, goes on trips and gets his girl (Abbie Cornish) back in his arms. So amazing is Eddie and his skills that this realities version of Carl Icahn, oddly named Carl Van Loon (Robert De Niro), wants Eddie on his team to broker a multi-billion dollar deal. Awesome.

Oh yeah, side effects. You know how these drug commercials spend the last ten seconds speed talking through the side effects? That guy would need about five minutes to speed talk through the side effects of NZT. Oh yeah, the mean Russian mobster (Andrew Howard) who by chance took a pill and will now kill any and everybody to get his own stash. Then there’s the other strange dude floating around arbitrarily murdering people for reasons that we are not completely sure of. I think it has something to do with the drug. Just a guess. And Van Loon is pissed off which just might be the most dangerous set of circumstances of all for poor Eddie. Good luck Eddie.

Normally when we see a movie that can be called a science fiction / action / thriller with a dash of comedy coated with a little love story and sprinkle of mystery we might say that’s far too many genres for one movie to legitimately handle, but director Neil Burger has no such problem keeping his action thriller under control. Kind of. The movie is creative and inventive in the way that Burger graphically presents to us the way Eddie sees the world when he’s on the drug, in contrast with how he functions when he’s off the drug, and it’s also a genuine action thriller with all of its mean mobsters and mysterious killers trying to do a guy harm who we actually care about… despite the fact he’s kind of an asshole. I guess a quick smile, a nice suite and a set of crystal blue eyes go a long way. The movie rarely slows down enough to give you enough time think about what’s going on outside what we are locked onto at that moment, other than the fact that it looks cool and its mighty fun. Man… we liked this movie.

Okay… I guess we have a few more words to burn so we might as well nitpick. The movie glorifies drug usage. Absolutely. Yes, there are side effects to this drug and people do die taking it and trying to get it, but ultimately… it ain’t so bad. I want some, in the worst way, and that is glorification personified. Eddie calls the police upon finding his dead brother in law, then finds the stash and stuffs it in his pocket. In real life the police, upon entering a room where one guy is alive another guy has a bullet in his head, will frisk the living guy something fierce and thus find Eddie’s stash stuffed in his pocket and the rubber gloves. But hey, we had to get this movie started somehow. Eddie was in close proximity to at least five murders in this movie and probably can be indirectly connected to another six or seven murders. All of it on record. Eddie might also be our next president. And we raked Bill Clinton over the coals for getting oral in the Oval.

There’s a whole lot more stuff that popped up when I started further thinking about it, so I stopped doing that. What’s the point of that? For the one hour and forty or so minutes that I was at the show, I had a good time. That’s the point of that.

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