Bradley Cooper plays Eddie Morra; a struggling writer who is turned on to designer drug, NZT-48, by his ex-brother-in-law. The drug enables its user to utilise 100% of their brain power rather than 20% of it, which is interesting because I don’t know anyone who doesn’t use 100% of their brain… Well, except for those involved in horrendous, life-changing accidents. Anyway, bullshit statistics aside, within his first trip, Cooper discovers he can think faster, learn faster, be a smoother ladies man faster and just generally be ‘limitless’ in what he can do…
Wait, I get the title now.
So, what does he do with his new powers? Bring about world peace? Discover a cure for cancer? Re-edit the Green Lantern so it becomes a halfway decent film? No, old Cooper becomes… a stock broker. Yeah, the trailer for Limitless is very clever marketing. It completely negates any mention that this is all just Nick Leeson’s wet dream. Look! There’s Bradley Cooper with his shirt off! Look! He’s being limitless! Look at him kissing sexy women with his sexy man lips! *cough* oh yeah, and there’s about an hour’s worth of conversation about stockbroking and buying other companies *cough* Look! His shirt’s off again.
As a hero, Eddie Morra, is as likable as syphilis. This isn’t Cooper’s fault. Eddie is just written badly. He’s a man only Patrick Bateman would applaud. It’s hard to root for anyone who is so ungodly smug. Every other line from his mouth may as well have been about the size of his penis, with an additional point to the crotch and a knowing raised eyebrow. You don’t want him to succeed. When he’s beaten up for owing money to a loan shark, you applaud the goons. It shouldn’t be like that.
Oh yeah, Robert De Niro is in it, but as he’s now gone from the man from Raging Bull to Little Fockers, that’s not really saying much. As wealthy businessman Carl Van Loon (no, really), Bobby shuffles around looking off camera to make sure the ink has dried on his cheque. Christ, least Sean Connery had the decency to retire.
Then you add the overused cliches such as trite Russian Gangsters and a beginning that tries to suggest that proceeding 120 minutes are going to be intense noir-fuelled action, and the sum is just a pile of unemotional pap.
Oh, and there’s a scene where Cooper drinks from a pool of blood. That was just weird.