Source: Relativity Media
By nature, the human brain can hold a whole host of memories. In order to make space for new memories, old and insignificant ones are forgotten, and the memory cycle begins. The possibilities of being able to hold every piece of information that passes through the brain has been briefly touched on in movies before (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull), and Limitless attempts to explain the consequences.
As with all stories about a fictional drug that gives superpowers (various examples in Spiderman), the protagonist begins as a down-on-his-luck character. Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) is a writer stuck for ideas. His girlfriend has just left him, but a chance meeting with his ex-wife's brother changes his luck. He's handed a slightly dodgy-looking clear pill and upon taking it finds that he is able to remember everything - including memories that have been locked away in the past.
Following the partial completion of his book, the drug wears off and Eddie needs more. After approaching the ex-wife's brother once more, he becomes the unlikely keeper of a drug that all previous takers want to get their hands on. In a few days Eddie becomes a multi-millionnaire and attracts interest from business giant Carl von Loon (Robert de Niro) who warns him that he shouldn't be brash about his talents in the stock markets.
Of course, it's not all rosy after Eddie finds that he has to continue taking the drug in order to continue his life, and that is the reason that he is being chased. Naturally, this is when the film started to come into its own with a series of chase and fight scenes.
At this point in the movie, it should be pointed out that I was weighing up whether to award Limitless 4- or 5-stars. The camera work and direction throughout the film were excellent and for novice director Neil Burger I hope this is the sign of a man on the rise in the cinema industry. Including Cooper and de Niro were coups on Burger's part as they both played their respective parts superbly throughout.
So, the deciding factor came down to the ending. I won't ruin it, but it was fantastic... and then ruined. Within the space of a minute, I went from looking at the screen in amazement to a face of disbelief at how a film's ending can just swing from the good to the bad.
That said, a very good film. Definitely worth a watch.