And we have our first contender for Most Deceiving Title of the Year, Limitless disappoints with its utter lack of imagination and ambition. What would you do if a pill could make you smarter? Apparently pretty much the same thing you would do if you won the lottery. Bradley Cooper plays a struggling writer who gets addicted to a hard-to-come-by street drug that allows him to use one-hundred percent of his brain. He gives up writing to play the stock market, and deducing from the film's hypothesis, brain use only correlates to how much money you want to make, and how fast you drive your car.
It's not all bad. The first half of Limitless is surprisingly fun. It doles out its high-concept exposition efficiently and moves quickly into the more interesting aspects of the idea, as Cooper discovers his abilities casually, which makes mundane scenes, like a dispute with the landlord's wife, interesting and even entertaining. And director Neil Burger combines quick-witted scenes like this with some Michel Gondry-like camera tricks, like a rapid, two-minute long zoom, that keep things moving along. For as long as it's fast-paced, it's enjoyable enough not to question it, but the plot-holes and gaps in logic quietly mount and when Limitless hits a wall around the midpoint, you'll feel like you're accessing one-hundred percent of your brain as they all brim to the surface and turn a once-effective thriller into boring mush. Pile on a few sub-plots and you just stop trying to care. To quote every open-mic comedian who saw this: "Limit-less? More like Limit-ed!"