Reviewed by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban
Yes, I know, it is a terrible title, but the movie had a great premise: A drug that allows you to access that 90% + of your brain you never use. Imagine the possibilities.
Now the question is: would you take it?
Our loser of a protagonist Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) hesitates when his ex brother-in-law offers it to him. “Why not?” the ex insists, “the drug is totally legit, USDA tested and almost approved and the first bunch of pills is on the house. What do you have to lose?”
Considering our Eddie has no job, nor inspiration to write the book he promised his publisher, and his girlfriend– who provided him the apartment and other commodities, like food and money–has just broken up with him, the answer is “not much, really.”
And so he takes the pill.
But, as we savvy movie goers knew all along, the ex brother-in-law was not telling the truth. The USDA doesn’t know the drug exists, and the said drug is not only addictive, but, if you stop taking it, you’ll die an ugly death.
To make things more interesting (for us), when Eddie goes to his ex-brother in law’s apartment to ask for more pills, he finds him shot dead and his place thoroughly searched.
But Eddie, even though the smarting effects of the pill have worn off and he’s suffering from withdrawal, finds the hidden stash the professional assassins missed (don’t ask) and continues taking the pill. He writes his book this way, learns several languages in a couple of days, and impresses all his friends, ex-girlfriend included, so much so that she takes him back. Eventually, he decides to enter the stock market and, to no viewer’s surprise, he makes millions in a week.
Things get complicated after this for big, important guys are after the pills, Eddie’s health takes a turn for the worse, a past mobster who loaned him his first money wants to be paid (why Eddie didn’t pay him is one of the many incongruities of the movie, but who cares at this point), his girlfriend dumps him again I don’t remember why and…
As I said things get complicated, and Eddie, for all his good looks, is not a sympathetic character–he’s totally self-centered and narrow-minded and his only motivation is greed– so that, by now, I didn’t care much whether he survived or not. For, really, there is not much difference between what he wants and what the “bad guys” want. Simplifying a little, but not much, they both want to kill the other, and make a lot of money. And the pills.
Despite my lack of empathy for the protagonist, the movie kept my interest. So, if you are in the mood for a silly rush of adrenaline, you may want to see it too.
And if you do, let me know what you think.