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Imagine if your life could improve vastly all thanks to one tiny pill...
What if your life could vastly improve overnight just by taking a small pill? A pill that would increase your intellect significantly, as it will also transform you into a super genius. One who can easily deduce the patterns within the stock market, by using simple algorithms and mathematical equations. One who can write an entire four hundred page novel in four days, and give you the brain capacity to mimic the fighting moves previously seen in any film; you've might've watched only once. Would you be interested in such a magical pill? I know some of you might be wondering...what's the catch?
No, catch really...unless you want to count the damage it could do if you take too much, or if you start to withdraw from it immediately after being hooked. Yes, it will grant you super intelligence to out think your way out of any given situation, but it will also leave you hooked. For if you were to stop taking it, the damage to your brain will be devastating, as it can either lead to your death or permanent brain damage; to where you won't be able to focus on anything for more than ten minutes ever again. Would you be willing to take on such a risk? After all, it shouldn't be a problem, as long as you have a limitless supply, right? Therefore, what's the harm?
Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) is just another dead end schmuck, who not only has to live off his girlfriend, due to his inability to sell his novels, he's also financially in debt up to his eye balls. After his girlfriend dumps him, he's literally down on his luck. With very little hope in sight, as he continues to struggle writing his novel. What's a poor fellow to do? Then the unthinkable happens. He runs into an old friend, who tells him about an experimental drug. Promising him that his whole life would change. Although Eddie was skeptical about this so called miracle drug at first, he reluctantly takes it anyway; with no idea what he's getting into.
At first, it seems like the pill has given him not only the confidence to achieve whatever his heart desires, but a new intellect that allows him to outsmart his way out of any given situation. Whether that situation pertains to merely talking his way out of getting chewed out by his landlord's wife, to figuring out how unlock how to be successful with the stock market; using simple mathematical equations and algorithms.
However, the only problem is with a secret like this, it's hard to keep others from finding out; hence the dilemma that Eddie faces. Now, faced with the situation where people are coming after him just for possessing the drug to begin with, to people using it to blackmail him too. What's a poor fellow to do? What transpires from here is a series of events that will leave audiences constantly guessing, while leaving them begging for more.
I'll be honest, I actually did like this film a lot. Hell, if this film proved anything, it reconfirms my opinions on how literally under rated Bradley Cooper is an actor. Not only was he so convincing as the slob of a man, who's down on his luck, he was also able to play a cool business savvy fast talking computer whiz...all in the same film too. Not many actors can lay claim to that kind of versatility. Plus, having a seasoned actor like Robert DeNiro doesn't hurt a film either. Sure, it's been a while since he's done anything great, but he's still one of Hollywood's better seasoned actors out there.
Unfortunately, I can't say this film is completely perfect, as there are a few flaws. Ones that probably won't bother most casual viewers, but they're worth noting here anyway. Take in mind if you don't want me to spoil the film for you, then I would highly suggest that you skip the following paragraphs; until you get to the last one.
The main gripe that I had about this film is that it contains way too many plot holes. Like where does the drug come from? It's never fully explained on the true origins of the drug, nor is it ever addressed in the film. Sure, they explain enough, to where any viewer can follow the movie, but they never address the purpose behind the drug to begin with. Another thing that bothers me is that even though the business man dies, who hired the assassin to kill Eddie to begin with, it seems suddenly his life is safe? Excuse me, are we naive to assume that only one person wanted to kill Eddie over that damn little pill? Seriously, you'd think that more businessmen would've found out about it; considering the technological internet age we live in. I know people will say, what about the mafia guy that found out too?
That brings me up to my other gripe about this film. Are we naive to assume that the mafia guy kept that damn drug secret to himself? I'm sorry, but I find that very hard to believe. Another thing that bothers me is that around the end, Eddie comes up with a way to make the positive effects of the drug permanent; without ever having to constantly take them again. Gee, if he became so smart to figure that out, then why didn't the other test subjects that tried out the drug do the same damn thing? I mean weren't they granted super intelligence too? If so, then wouldn't logic dictate that they too would devise a similar method; instead of ending up brain dead like his ex-fiance, whom originally tried it.
Anyways, all gripes aside, I don't think it will bother most viewers, as I don't think most people would care about minor details like I do. However, they are worth noting. In the end, I'd have to give this film a solid two and a half out of four. It's not a great film, but it's definitely entertaining.