With the help of a mysterious pill that enables the user to access 100% of his brain's abilities, a struggling writer becomes a financial wizard, but it also puts him in a new world with man... Read allWith the help of a mysterious pill that enables the user to access 100% of his brain's abilities, a struggling writer becomes a financial wizard, but it also puts him in a new world with many dangers.With the help of a mysterious pill that enables the user to access 100% of his brain's abilities, a struggling writer becomes a financial wizard, but it also puts him in a new world with many dangers.
Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper attempting to break away from his guy roles in road show movies) is a wannabe writer - a man who has been attempting to write a novel for years but has not achieved one word on a page. He lives off his girlfriend Lindy (Abbie Cornish) who finally gives up on his mess of a life. Eddie moves into a filthy flat and he takes on the appearance of a street person until he encounters his ex-wife's (Anna Friel) brother Vernon (Johnny Whitworth) who gives Eddie a pill called NZT, a medication that is purportedly able to make the brain use 100% of its capacity (fragments of memory, encountered headlines, books slightly read etc all become immediately available to the 'patient'). Eddie, seeing his life going down the toilet, takes the pill and suddenly becomes multilingual, able to figure out number sequences at the gambling table, not only start but finish his novel, etc: in other words, a genius - for the 24 hour duration of the pill's effect. His changed life introduces him to, of course, the stock market where he makes it so big that he garners the attention of major player Carl Van Loon (Robert DeNiro) - along with the people involved with the now murdered Vernon who want the drug back: evil Gennady (Andrew Howard) and his thugs (Eddie Fernandez and Ray Siegle) a strange 'man in a tan coat' (Tomas Arana) et al. Eddie struggles through the transition, sells his novel, wins Lindy back, and some years later is running for New York Senator on his way to the Presidency of the United States. And that of course leads to the messy ending that began the film.
Based on the novel 'The Dark Fields' by Alan Glynn, the screenplay (full of holes perhaps due to the same writer's block as the main character's) is by Leslie Dixon and the film is directed by Neil Burger, a man with some creative ideas who concentrates on gimmicks more than plot and character development. And it does have some dazzling visual effects sequences, courtesy of Joe Willems, cinematographer and Connie Brink, Special Effects Coordinator. It is an obvious attempt to compete with the fast action films that make so much box office money, but it is flimsy and may be better off in the DVD category - a category in which it landed early for obvious reasons.
- Jul 21, 2011