‘A writer discovers a top-secret drug which bestows him with super human abilities.’
I have to imagine that this story was born when the writer was struggling for ideas and envisaged a magic pill that would solve all their problems. I mean, that’s the dream of any writer isn’t it? Some MacGuffin that would allow you to churn out amazing stories with no effort so you can write a new novel as fast as you can type. If only.
The concept is a very interesting one, and the movie that grew out of it is a fun, but flawed piece of cinema. The core concept of a pill (NZT) that makes the protagonist super-intelligent allows some very interesting situations to develop, but the writer didn’t seem to know how to resolve half of them, so they’re dropped when they are no longer convenient.
This really hurts the film, because the most interesting aspects of the story are ignored in favour of some fairly standard thriller tropes. I’ll try not to spoil too much here, but the most glaring example of this problem is shown in the way the movie deals with Eddie’s blackouts. There are some great mysteries set up through this portion of the movie, but when it hits a certain point Eddie tells us that the blackouts stopped in a voiceover.
There are a number of other examples of this throughout the movie, but things keep moving along quickly so that you don’t notice. The pacing is very well done in this movie, we’re pulled along on a wild ride up until the quiet ending that does very little in explaining things.
Overall, while I enjoyed watching the movie, the many flaws really sucked a lot of the enjoyment out of it for me. It’s a fun film to watch on a quiet afternoon, but I won’t be rushing to see it again anytime soon.
What I Liked – Good pacing. Interesting ideas. Great visual cues to show the difference between Eddie’s normal world, and his NZT world.
What I Didn’t Like – I never really believed that the character was super-intelligent. Story dropped major plot points with little or no explanation.
Rating – 3.5 out of 5 (Enjoyable)