Limitless runs into problems

If Inception and Shutter Island left you craving more science fiction, then Limitless is definitely for you. Bradley Cooper, who played Phil in The Hangover, returns to the silver screen in this American techno-thriller as an average guy who comes across a pill which enables him to use his brain in the most efficient manner possible. But the question remains: What is the brain capable of doing when used to its maximum capacity?

The story revolves around Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper), a writer experiencing writer’s block with a deadline to meet. His life is down in the dumps until he runs into his ex-brother-in-law on the street. His brother-in-law, who is a drug dealer, offers Eddie a drug which will allow him to use all of his brain as opposed to the normal 20 percent. Tempted, Eddie consumes the drug, only to want more as it allows him to perform super-human tasks such as completing a draft of his book within a day, learning languages by simply hearing other people talk, and recalling small instances stored in his brain, giving him the ability to speak about absolutely anything knowledgeably. With a steady supply of pills to help him succeed, Eddie does odd jobs to come up with money for the drugs. Everything is going smoothly until one day, he finds his brother-in-law murdered.

With a stash of drugs kept safely with him, Eddie continues his splendid lifestyle and enters the stock market, where his fast pace gets him noticed by a powerful businessman: Carl Van Loon, played by Robert DeNiro. Under Loon, Eddie rises to become a stock market “god,” gets back with his girlfriend who had previously dumped him, and is living in grandeur.

But this sudden success can only continue for so long. Eddie soon experiences the side effects of the drugs, as well as the intense withdrawal symptoms that occur if one tries to stop taking the medication, which can eventually prove to be fatal. Simultaneously, Eddie is continually harassed by people who have also learned about the power of the pill, including a Russian mobster, a client of his ex-brother-in-law, and many more suspicious characters.

Like most thrillers, the audience can anticipate the point where the protagonist loses everything, only to turn things around again in his favor. Although the movie provides its audience with a unique theme and context along with a fast-paced beginning, the ending is much too dry for some viewers’ tastes and has several serious flaws, leaving lingering questions.

Also, the reality of the pills isn’t exactly along the lines that one would have presumed, making the ending not nearly as thrilling. However, director Neil Burger (The Illusionist), provides a great storyline, one that will definitely excite movie buffs and provide instances where the ongoing action can enrapture the audience, a feat achieved only by a few thriller movies, making this a memorable watch.