Viewed – 02 September 2011 Blu-ray
Bradley Cooper seems to be in everything right now. This good-looking, likable actor is perfect leading man material, even if he’s not a particularly gifted actor. Here he plays Eddie Morra, a down on his luck writer who after being dumped by his hot girlfriend (the Nicole Kidman look-a-like Abbie Cornish) bumps into his ex-brother-in-law now involved with a pharmaceutical company, who offers him a drug that will turn his life around. Figuring things can’t get much worse, Eddie takes the pill and within hours he’s bedded his landlord’s daughter and is on his way to finishing his novel.
This high concept thriller has a great turn from Cooper who makes for a very watchable lead, and the movie is awash with clever camera work, imaginative effects and bags of style. There’s no doubt that director Neil Burger’s movie is, from a stylistic point, brilliantly realised, and at times reminded me of Fight Club with its voice over-based one man discovering another life right under his nose. Yet the movie’s concept runs out of ideas, plot threads are left unexplained (like what really happened to the girl in the hotel room) and the ending just left me saying – that’s how it ends? This idea is brilliant no doubt, but it is also clear the director just knew how to run with it rather than offering any form of a moral conclusion, sending out a very dubious message indeed. Abbie Cornish is good if a little bland, and the legendary Robert DeNiro pops up as a corporate big-wig, but phones in his performance and overall looks bored.
Perhaps with a better script-writer this could have been something special. As it stands its entertaining, often above-average, but let’s itself down as it concludes. A real shame.
Verdict: 3 /5