Directed By: Neil Burger
Written By: Leslie Dixon
Based on the Novel By: Alan Glynn
Cinematography: Jo Willems
Editor: Tracy Adams & Naomi Geraghty 

Cast: Bradley Cooper, Robert DeNiro, Abbie Cornish, Anna Friel, Johnny Whitworth, Ned Eisenberg, Robert John Burke, T.V. Capiro 

With the help of a mysterious pill that enables the user to access one hundred percent of his brain abilities, a struggling writer becomes a financial wizard, but it also puts him in a new world with lots of dangers.

This film is an amped up drama. Which I guess means it is on the edge of being a thriller and while there are some interesting twists. They seem to be there to keep your interests up.

It lacks realization and feels set-up from the beginning that interrupts it’s entourage like a perfect fantasy scenario to say hey there is a downside, but hey look at the perks while everything is going well.

Not that Bradley Cooper doesn’t give a good performance but it’s hard to believe him in a gritty environment. Luckily this film is Hollywood gritty down and dirty. He was a replacement for Shia Lebouf who would have been more believable even if just for being the right age for the character.

The filmmakers try to liven things up and keep you off balance like the lead character. By using weird angles and visuals. While speeding up the camera. Which is truly noteworthy in some scenes.

What is original is that the character. If you really consider it is our protagonist but is not really all that likeable. Yet the story tries to present him as such, but really like isn’t innocent.

In the third act the film turns really unexpectedly violent. I will give the film credit, it certainly tries to keep you on your toes. It is a perfect popcorn film. It isn’t deep if you are looking for deepness. You will find it hollow but a great looking shell.

Robert DeNiro doesn’t even have much of a role. He does what is required of him but not with much conviction. As the script leaves him with no powerful or noteworthy scenes of dialogue. Anyone could have played the role DeNiro is just here really as a bold faced angel on the poster to pad out the cast.

I guess he does have the second biggest role in the film that truly shows how disposable most of the characters are. Consider the Central Park scene running around with a huge knife in public stabbing people with plenty of witnesses. We are introduced to a murder that is never truly solved. I’m not asking for a in depth type investigation just some closure.

The ending works but it’s kind of ridiculous but since at this point. So is most of the film. So if you have followed it’s logic so far why not there too.

It’s a satisfying rental as I think most will like it. It was just not for me. I have seen worse. It is satisfying for most audience expectations.


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