Director Neil Burger — the guy behind the excellent The Illusionist and the less excellent The Lucky Ones — returns with a thriller starring the suddenly ubiquitous Bradley Cooper as Eddie Marra, a sputtering aspiring writer whose life is turned upside down when he starts taking an experimental drug that allows him to unlock his brain's full power.
Cooper, his blue eyes gleaming throughout, is appealing as our tour guide through his heightened world, which Burger delineates from our protagonist's drab, pre-doped life by amping up the visual scheme's color saturation, among other fancy, sometimes overbearing technical tricks. Robert De Niro adds delicious menace as Carl Van Loon, a corporate bigwig who has no shame in taking advantage of Eddie's newfound brain power, but Abbie Cornish is wasted as a love interest that stretches believability.
Burger, working from a script based on Alan Glynn's novel, tries to inject the proceedings with Philip K. Dick-like futuristic profundity, but the gleefully addled Limitless is best experienced with one's logic button turned off. Grade: C-plus
Opens March 18. Check out theaters and show times, see the trailer and get theater details here.