An ever-smirking doofus (Bradley Cooper) takes a pill that makes him so smart that hot French women want to have sex with him in the bathrooms of night clubs in this heavy-handed "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DON'T DO DRUGS" PSA disguised as a sci-fi morality tale. Cooper's a likable enough actor but he doesn't quite have the gravitas to pull off his role as a failed writer who ends up conquering the stock market (amongst many other endeavors) after he takes an experimental drug that allows him to access and implement 100% of his brain's power (versus the "normal 20%"); Robert De Niro, on the other hand, is actually a lot of fun as the business bigwig who wants to know this whiz kid's secret. Leslie Dixon's screenplay, which is based on Alan Glynn's novel, The Dark Fields, starts off well enough but just gets more and more preposterous and unengaging as Cooper falls into the downward spiral of delusions of grandeur and hardcore addiction; side effects include being shot at in public places by men in sunglasses and dark suits and Abbie Cornish, as the ex-girlfriend unfortunately sucked into this mess, looking constantly concerned/confused. Actually, Limitless kind of plays out like a video game, which is probably one of the reasons why director Neil Burger scored the upcoming Unchartered: Drake's Fortune gig.
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