44- Limitless [4.5]
An aspiring author Eddie Morra is suffering from chronic writer’s block, but his life changes instantly when an old friend introduces him to NZT, a revolutionary new pharmaceutical that allows him to tap his full potential. With every synapse crackling, Eddie can recall everything he has ever read, seen or heard, learn any language in a day, comprehend complex equations and beguile anyone he meets as long as he keeps taking the untested drug.
Narration is somewhat looked down upon in screenwriting. Like most forms of writing, the rule of “show, don’t tell” is fairly important in a screenplay. The narration in Limitless is one of the bigger abusers of the device I’ve seen, as no insight whatsoever is given from it. Furthermore, just because a film has a sci-fi bend doesn’t mean the audience needs their hand held throughout the runtime, especially when the material is as straightforward as it is here.
With the exception of one scene in which he elevates the material, Robert de Niro mostly sleepwalks through Limitless. Though the premise is intriguing, you’d likely have a longer discussion on Bradley Cooper’s wig from the first act than the content of the film.