Cooper plays Eddie Morra, a writer who doesn’t write, a man who barely appears to shower. Through happenstance, he runs into a former in-law and former drug dealer, only the latter is actually not so former. This is how Eddie comes to start taking NZT. He thinks its F.D.A. approved so we can’t really judge him, but he quickly finds out there is no way this drug is ever going to make it to market. NZT allows you to tap into the 80% of your brain that goes unused every day. The resulting clarity allows Eddie to take everything he’s ever taken in, in his entire life, and make perfect sense of it in seconds. Needless to say, Eddie never intends to get off these drugs and soon finds out he might not have a choice in the matter.
Director, Neil Burger, coasts through LIMITLESS and rarely attempts to access any of his own greater potential. Visual trickery meant to signify the depths of Eddie’s thought processes and amplified abilities come off as not only gimmicky but tacky as well. All the same, the talent is passable (Robert De Niro and Abbie Cornish have scant parts compared to Cooper) and the moral question behind taking the drug to begin with is intriguing, but the climax of this film is so ridiculous and off-putting that it went, for me, from a time-filler to a complete waste of time. It’s ironic really how a film about untapped intelligence could be so utterly stupid. Or perhaps even more so, how a film called LIMITLESS could feel so limited.