Limitless' tagline asks: "What if a pill could make you rich and powerful?" If you're Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper), an unmotivated writer living on ramen in New York City, that's a big duh.
Eddie gets the pill from his ex-brother-in-law, and gets hooked fast. The unlicensed pharmaceutical unlocks 100 percent of the brain, as opposed to the 30 percent we generally tap. The primary benefit seems to be unearthing long-forgotten trivia and finally understanding how to beat the stock market. Eddie rockets from social success to financial success, before attracting the attention of mega-power broker Carl Van Loon (Robert DeNiro).
Neil Burger's film is another run at Faust's bargain, so we know this will be a bumpy ride with tough consequences. But Limitless is fast-paced and fun, and the pleasure is in watching Eddie simultaneously succeed and unravel. And it's not just that his brain and body start going rogue -- like any junkie, he has weird blackouts and sensory issues -- but he's also followed by mysterious thugs.
Fortunately, Limitless is more eye-candy than brain-buster. It merely tickles our own feeble noggins with queries about the morality of Eddie's choices, or whether our brains have limits for a reason. Starts Fri., March 18.