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An illicit drug transforms struggling writer Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) from a man crippled by self-doubt and headed for the skids to a world-beater in Neil Burger's thriller. When an old friend slips him a dose of the untested substance, it prompts a massive rush of creativity, but its addictive downside also becomes frighteningly obvious and soon he's craving more of the so-called NZT. All looks set for a fairly standard cautionary tale on the pros and cons of narcotics, yet Burger generates maximum impact from the amiable Cooper's highs and lows, and poses interesting questions about the benefits accrued from such artificial assistance. The director is also well served by Robert De Niro, who puts in one of his more effective recent performances as a ruthless tycoon. True, the film has some problematic loose ends and the female roles (sceptical girlfriend Abbie Cornish, troubled ex-wife Anna Friel) are largely underwritten, but otherwise this is punchy and witty entertainment with an adept balance of adrenaline rush and clear-eyed sobriety.
A failed writer acquires a supply of an experimental drug that enables his brain to process and learn information at a superhuman rate. His new-found abilities allow him to make a killing on the stock market, but he soon attracts the attention of shadowy forces who have sinister plans for him. Sci-fi thriller, with Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro and Abbie Cornish.
Cast & Crew
Carl Van Loon
Robert De Niro
Man in tan coat
T V Carpio
DVD and Blu-ray
18 Mar 2011
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