Published on March 22nd, 2011 | by Anto1
Eddie (Bradley Cooper) is a bit broken. He looks like a homeless drunk but isn’t either and has been stuck in a rut for a long time. A chance encounter with his former brother-in-law leaves him in possession of NZT, a new drug that opens up the dark fields of the mind. Directed by Neil Burger, this could have gone quite wrong (Shia LeBoeuf was cast until an accident meant a postponement and the part was re-cast), but it’s an effective thriller in Burger/Cooper’s hands. NZT transforms Eddie’s life from a dead end into a highway, propelling him into high class parties, business meetings and expanding his knowledge field overnight.
There’s a downside though as Eddie is shown what life without NZT actually means for former users (including an under used Anna Friel) and he’s pursued by those who know what he’s got his hands on. Robert DeNiro is more effective than he’s been in a lot of movies recently as the financial boss who is getting the benefit of Eddie’s sudden genius. The visuals are great and Cooper’s performance will engage you throughout . If anything it’ll leave you wondering just what the other 80% of our brains is truly capable of.
Aside: The film was based on Irish writer Alan Glynn’s 2003 novel ‘The Dark Fields’ which has been re-released as ‘Limitless’ to coincide with the cinema release.