Thursday, December 1, 2011

Movie Review: Limitless

I think we've all experienced times when it seemed we were doing more than we thought possible and yet, paradoxically, we didn't feel overstretched, exhausted, or burned out. Weren't those times amazing? What if you could always be like that? What if there were a drug that made you smarter, that helped you focus your energies, that unlocked your potential? [1] That is the basic plot of Limitless. NZT is a drug that enhances cognitive abilities and the main character, Eddie Morra, gets his hands on a pretty sizable stash. But as with any drug, there are complications: downers that are worse than the highs, "flashbacks", withdrawal symptoms, other addicts, etc.

My verdict: The film is a unique take on drug culture. And explores some of the implications such a drug might have. (There is one rather disgusting scene were you see just how badly he wants another hit.) One logical flaw is that even though he's not the smartest person to start taking the pills, he's the only one that recognizes all of the effects and takes steps to counteract them. He also hires someone to reverse engineer NZT instead of figuring it out himself, which would've been faster given his heightened abilities. Sometimes the camera work was a little too artsy, though the changes in color tones (to distinguish reality from the drug state) was a nice touch. Even though it was an interesting premise, it was only worth one viewing.


[1] I've mentioned before that I've written a story with a similar theme, only the drug helps you be a better (i.e. moral) person rather than energizing your brain. I hope someday to post it on this blog, but I don't currently have a timeline for that.

Image attributions:

Spilled Pills is by zacharmstrong, available at

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