TMG Scale 8.0
Starring Bradley Cooper, Robert DeNiro, Abbie Cornish
This is the story that the hippie drug culture of the 60’s thought would some day come true. The ultimate, mind blowing drug would be invented that would set us all free, like rocket stars from Mars. We might become limitless. We would all be “winners.” Charlie Sheen aside, this has not come true for the rest of us.
Bradley Cooper gives a fresh and fun performance as Eddie Morra. Eddie is a burn out wannabe with writers block on par with Jack Nicholson in The Shining (1980). His book advance is about to go out the window. His girlfriend Abbie (Cornish) gives him the heave-ho. Just as he hits rock bottom, he runs into his ex brother-in-law, drug dealer who offers to help him out. Instead of a loan or couch, he offers a new pill called “NZT48” to help Eddie unleash the 80% of the human brain that is never used. [By the way, TMG checked this out. While there is some logical and medical evidence that humans do not use all of their brain or its potential, there is no accepted rule whether it is 10%, 20%, or 50%. Science has only established that men, in a bar after midnight, and who have consumed more than four alcoholic drinks, use less than 1% of their available brain function. Women have the same dysfunction in a shoe store during clearance sales.]
Back to the movie. Eddie goes wild. He finishes his book in a few days. Life, creativity and brainpower open up reminiscent of John Travolta as George Malley in Phenomenon (1980). The drug makes him brilliant and even motivates him to become neat and scour his scummy New York apartment. [Much to my great anguish, this drug is not available to my own teenage children.] It is unclear why gambling in Vegas or just continuing to play the stock market successfully is not enough. He teams up with big time New York deal maker, Carl Van Loon (De Niro). Carl is part Gordon Gecko and part, well, part loon. Eddie takes us on a wild ride from the benefits to the ravages of this new drug in some stunning scenes, a few laughs and just riveting filming. The downside is the storyline has more holes in it than Lenny Kravitz face. Like why does the drug make Eddie so smart he can understand the most complex financial deals but he never learns how to program the clock on his answering machine? Or forget to pay back the loan shark that lent him a paltry $100,000—even after he had made millions? Oh well. Mere details.
Intense, provocative, stunning and exciting are words one has to use to describe this movie. It was also just plain fun. Is there a dark side to the drug or can one learn to manage its bad effects? Druggers of the 60’s only dreamt about this stuff. Does Eddie have it figured out? Go see the movie to find out.