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Limitless’ Leaves Audiences Entertained

Ankur Chawla | Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What would you do if you could tap the entirety of your mind? In “Limitless,” an intelligent but mind-blocked science fiction writer is offered a pill that will grant him boundless intelligence. Bradley Cooper (“The Hangover”) plays the run-down New York City writer Eddie Morra, who transforms himself into a financial mastermind.

The movie starts with a glimpse of Morra’s battered life —he lives in a run down apartment, is unable to overcome writer’s block and was just dumped by his girlfriend. Lost in the city, he runs into his former brother-in-law and is offered the fateful pill. Bottoming out, Morra resorts to taking the drug and turns his life around.

Morra comprehends the unimaginable, picking up languages in hours, learning to play the piano in a day and mastering the financial markets, quintupling his money each day for five days in a row. This quickly gets the attention of Wall Street bigwig Carl Van Loon (Robert De Niro), who recruits Morra to analyze and discuss a major merger.

However, Morra runs into complications with a loan shark, supply shortages and serious withdrawal when he runs out of the pills. Overall, “Limitless” is a decent mind-thriller that keeps its audience intrigued through the ending. Still, there are a lot of plot flaws you would expect someone with “limitless” brain function to be able to think through.

Some of the most bothersome keys were how late it occurred to Morra that at some point he would run out of the drugs, and that there might be side effects to an underground pill few knew about. Also, why would an artsy science fiction writer move into the finance world? It was a fairly arbitrary choice.

Despite the shortcomings, though, the movie still is more than worthwhile and something I would suggest renting or watching when it’s inevitably on FX over finals week next winter.