Limitless is close, but there were just too many issues with the plot for me to recommend it wholeheartedly. It isn't without its merits though. Bradley Cooper plays Eddie Morra, a struggling writer. As we meet Eddie his narration asks us if we have ever seen anyone without a drug or alcohol problem that looks like this. And by "this" he must mean an extremely handsome man with piercing blue eyes who needs a hair cut and a clean shirt. (He also then proceeds to detail his issues with drugs and alcohol in montage form but whatever.) He chances upon his ex brother in law in the street and agrees to have a drink with him for old times sake. This ex brother in law, whose name is, oddly, Vern, offers him a pill that he claims will make you use your entire brain. Initially, Eddie tries to act like he's not interested. Of course, he's going to take it, that's what the movie is about.
So he takes it. When he goes back to his shit hole apartment the landlords wife confronts him about his past due rent. Like most landlords, Eddie's landlord has a smoking hot twenty something Asian wife and boy, is she pissed. She goes off on Eddie for not paying his rent for the past few months but Eddie, because he took the pill, can tell that she's really mad about something else. By just glancing at a corner of her book he can tell she is in law school and surmises that she is having problems with a class. He helps her write a paper and then bangs her. Then he goes home and cleans the filth pit he's been living and writes a huge chunk of his book. This pill is fucking awesome.
It wears off the next day and he wakes up with his hair uncombed again. He pulls a pop-in on his ex brother in law and it's a bad time, somebody beat him up. For some reason, Eddie then goes to get himself some breakfast. He returns and Vern has been murdered. Eddie calls the cops and for some reason walks around the apartment with a golf club. He finds the pills that the murderer was unable to locate and hides them from the police.
Eddie starts popping the pills on the reg and pretty soon he is banging chicks all over the place, winning tons of money gambling and playing the stock market. He also drives really fast in a cool car. This is apparently what you do when you are the smartest person in the history of the universe. Soon he comes to the attention of Carl Van Loon, some sort of financial tycoon, played by Robert De Niro. Carl wants Eddie to work for him, help him with some giant merger and make a ton of money. Sounds great, everything is going wonderful. That is until Eddie begins loosing time. Loosing so much time that he apparently murders a model in a hotel room. Don't worry about that though. It isn't mentioned again.
Most of the rest of the movie is sort of a shell game with the remaining pills. They're here, they're there, they're all over the place. More people get murdered, you sort of find out that Eddie might die if he keeps taking the pills, maybe, and he finds a way to beat De Niro out of something I didn't even realize they were fighting over. I wish De Niro had been better in this movie but he felt extremely one dimensional. His character had no weight, no heft. The movie should have been a battle of wits between the two. But it wasn't and never will be so I'm not going to harp on it. By the end every loose thread is tied up but it feels too perfectly done. Eddie has decided to run for Senator despite the fact that we know he has been questioned by the police about five different homicides. There is no way that gets swept under the rug in today's political climate. But that's just one of the few questions I had by the end of the movie.
The one I couldn't get over is this: At the very beginning, Eddie claims to have a four digit IQ. First, that's not measurable. Second, if you were that smart I don't think there is any way that you could possibly relate to any other human. I don't doubt someone with an astoundingly high IQ could do some of the things that Eddie does in the movie but I do think every personal relationship he has would completely crumble. What use would he have for other people? I could go on and on with these types of questions, which sort of made them movie enjoyable since I saw it with Sean and we actually had points to discuss. A marked improvement over Battle Los Angeles which was the last move we saw together. Limitless also has some really clever visual effects that looked crisp and sharp. The pacing was good which is something virtually no mainstream movie seems to be able to handle. Bradley Cooper has pretty tremendous screen presence. He kind of reminds me of a more intelligent Matthew McConaughey. It was a better movie than most of the soulless slop that's getting put out these days but that's about all I'm willing to concede.