Brain Booster: Limitless (2011)

Brain Booster: Limitless (2011)

Universal, Relativity

Release Date (UK): 18 March 2011
Certificate: tbc
Running Time: tbc

Director: Neil Burger
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Anna Friel, Abbie Cornish

NZT Official Site
Film Details (Relativity Media)

In the first part of the trailer , there’s some resemblance of Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) with Albert Einstein, and somehow I’m waiting to see him poking his tongue out at me. But that would be way more than the perfect version of Eddie, or Bradley, for that matter.

Albert EinsteinRelativity Media puts Limitless in the genres Action and Thriller but it seems to be comedy, too, though a pretty dark one. Based on Alan Glynn’s début novel The Dark Fields, the story draws on the desire of virtually every living person to be extraordinary, extremely smart and fitted with a superpower or two.

And almost everyone knows about the myth that we are using only a certain percentage of our brains (ranging from 5-20%). So we are actually boneheads by birth, and to add insult to injury, only medication can fix that little flaw.

Limitless (2011) Bradley Cooper & Robert De NiroIn this instance, we’ll see a guy with chronic writer’s block (Bradley Cooper as Eddie) and “zero future” getting a hold of a new and shady designer drug (NZT) that instantly turns him from Mr Nobody into Mr Super-Spider-Man. Charisma, speed and intuition galore, life threatening side effects inclusive… and the whole shebang like Wall Street millions, increased sexual stamina and through-the-roof IQ, and ummh, the bad guys who want to exploit Eddie (Robert De Niro as mogul Carl van Loon) and/or kill him. Let’s not forget the law-and-order guys who obviously investigate the matter…

Limitless (Poster) 2011I hope the movie is more than a sleek and comical take on the old ‘Faust vs Mephisto’ story that when you make a pact with the devil you might not get rid of him, no matter what he’s gift-wrapped for you. Glynn’s novel wasn’t overly celebrated it seems with one reviewer asking whether it was a published first draft, and others unhappy with the ending.

The screenplay was written by Leslie Dixon who also penned Overboard (1987), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) and the remake of The Thomas Crown Affair (1999). Director Neil Burger already produced impressive reality-escapes (The Illusionist, 2006); considering he started his career making an MTV campaign which promoted reading, Limitless might be anything but a no-brainer.

And in case you wonder how much brain we are actually using in the real life, there might not be an answer. The scientific hard liners are adamant it’s a myth that we are using only a faction of our brains. Others keep believing Einstein said something like this so it must be true. On the other hand, there are phenomena like the Savant Syndrome which suggest that we are not tapping the full potential of our minds.

We certainly won’t get an answer from Bradley Cooper but mind-enhancing drugs are no science fiction — if students can fix their grades with the likes of Ritalin, I wonder why they can’t do so without?

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