Hangover Movie: Limitless
Limitless is a 2011 thriller starring Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, and Abbie Cornish. Limitless is actually based on the novel The Dark Fields by Alan Glynn. You may think of the movie Limitless and wonder how it is hangover story but alas it is one of the greatest movies out there about drug addiction and parallels many of today’s most popular drug topics; for instance, the usage of Adderall in college students to max out their potential.
Limitless follows a similar story of a New York City author who comes across what is known as a nootropic drug to access 100% of his brain instead of the usual 20%. When Bradley Cooper’s character, Eddie, finds out that the drug really does work he is suddenly able to work and do things he was never capable of doing before. At the beginning of Limitless, Eddie is struggling to beat a deadline for the book he is working on. With the drug known as NZT-48 in the movie he is able to quickly and easily finish his book. Not just that but as he continues to take the drug, he realizes he can identify trends in the stock market and quadruple his investments. He begins to build a fortune very quickly. And his success really takes off due to taking the drug.
Eddie is literally Limitless. There is nothing he can’t do and can’t do well. Only problem is having a continuous supply of the drug NZT. When he doesn’t have the drug after a long period of building success by taking NZT he begins to feel side effects. NZT has severe side effects such as nausea, vomiting, headaches, and that is only the beginning. Eddie eventually meets a woman who was on the drug for a long time and then stopped and finds her sluggish, lazy, aged, and overall useless since she stopped taking the drug. That is one of the more permanent effects of activating 100% of her brain for so long of a time. Instead of stopping the use of NZT, Eddie continues to take the drug to keep from getting sick, keep up appearances, and keep his success rolling in. In fact with his new found wealth Eddie goes so far as to hire laboratories to reverse engineer the drug NZT so he can have an endless supply of it.
Eddie’s consequences due to his drug use start piling up. Not only does he have people searching for him (like the mafia, gangster, and crime bosses) but he gets involved with a murder but is let off because he is not recognized by the witness. Everything Eddie does is a lie because it is the drug NZT that is making him capable not himself. Eventually what he has done during his drug use starts to catch up with him. He loses his supply of NZT that he had and the crime bosses find him and try to kill him. It is at this point that Eddie decides he should stop the use of NZT but he has to find a way to avoid the permanent side effects of stopping its use. So he weans himself off by retaining acute mental abilities therefore making the effects permanent and has an endless supply due to his laboratories. Eddie remains wealthy and his book that he wrote becomes a success. According to the movie Eddie’s life continues on smoothly but this is after an absolute train wreck of murder, lies, stealing, manipulation, and chaos. One of the prices we all pay for taking drugs to heighten our performance in anyway is deterioration in our health and our lives.
This is very similar to those who take drugs to help them in school and work. They feel the toll and while their story may not be the same kind of success as Eddie, nor is the drug the same, nor will their story end as well-it goes to show there is a high price to pay for taking a substance in order to perform better.