What The Film?! is a new weekly column exclusive to Under The Gun Review that brings to light the plot holes Hollywood hoped you’d never notice. Written by comedy writer Dane Sager, this column shows no mercy to films that try and pull the proverbial wool over our eyes.
If you know a film with major plot holes that you feel needs to be exposed, tell us! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “What The Film” and we’ll try to get your suggestion featured on the site.
This Week’s Movie: 2011’s Limitless
This is the newest movie I’ve ever done a WTFilm on, so a word of warning: there are spoilers. So if you have seen this movie before, you can read this no problem. If you haven’t seen the movie, don’t. Limitless is what happens when you let a teenager who just discovered Chuck Palahnuik, Nine Inch Nails, and the word “nihilism” writes your movie.
Limitless is about Eddie, a recently dumped writer who’s struggling to meet his deadlines. He’s dirty, lazy greasy, insecure, a procrastinator, and generally an unlikeable character. Eddie is basically a less likable version of Nicolas Cage’s character Charlie in 2002’s Adaptation. When Eddie bumps into his ex wife’s drug dealing brother, he is offered a pill that can access one hundred percent of the brain’s potential, since humans only use twenty percent. This drug is called NZT-40, but I will refer to it as SuperAdderall from this point on. When on SuperAdderall, Eddie become charming, fast talking, less insecure, less greasy, but still an unlikeable character, he becomes Nicolas Cage’s character Donald in 2002’s Adaptation.
That’s not at all how your brain works though. If your brain was just a reservoir that you use 10-20% of, then brain damage wouldn’t exist. Any damage, no matter how small, to the brain causes severe problems. Even Mythbusters have gone over this. Saying your brain doesn’t get used to its full potential is taken from the same book as “being cold causes colds”, “gum stays in your stomach seven years”, or that “cutting your hair on Good Friday prevents headaches”.
Eddie leaves the drug dealer’s place to buy breakfast for the two of them, but when he returns, the drug dealer has been killed and his apartment destroyed. He promptly calls the police to inform them of the murder as he searches the rest of the apartment for more of the SuperAdderall. The drug is found in the oven with a massive wad of cash that Eddie pockets. When the cops show up to investigate the death of a known drug dealer, they don’t bother searching Eddie. He is free to go because that’s how cops work apparently.
While on SuperAdderall, Eddie writes a book in a matter of days, makes a bunch of money trading stocks using a magic money making formula he created, gets a $100,000 loan from a loan shark (who makes it abundantly clear that he will murder Eddie if he is not paid back), turns that loan into $2,000,000, forgets to pay the loan shark back despite using 100% of his brain, gets hired into a high end business job, and purchases an $8.5 million condo designed specifically for security. The new job pushes Eddie into taking more of SuperAdderall than he usually takes, causing him to black out. It’s revealed that during his black out, Eddie hooked up with a woman who ended up murdered in his hotel room. The police decide to investigate him as a witness said it was Eddie, but this is never ever explained or brought up ever again. There is absolutely no closure on this plot point. Ever.
In the climax of the movie, the Loan Shark (also on SuperAdderall) hunts Eddie down in his condo, cutting the door of the hinges with a chain saw, and enters with two goons. You’d think an $8.5 million condo would have a door that would be more resilient. You’d be wrong. Eddie kills the Loan Shark and collapses on the floor, having fatal withdrawals from SuperAdderall. He ultimately decides that the best course of action is to drink the loan shark’s blood.
Despite the basis of the plot being biologically impossible, the movie has a lot of fatal errors: having an incredibly unlikeable protagonist, having dumb luck play into a lot of it, and despite being super-duper-intelligent, Eddie ends up doing a lot of stupid things. It’s almost as if the ending should have had someone tell Eddie that the drug was a placebo and that he did all that intelligent stuff on his own! It was inside him all along and he just didn’t know! Also they really should have tied up the “Did he murder a woman?” plot line that showed up for seven minutes in the middle of the movie and then never again.