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A struggling writer (Cooper) discovers a top-secret drug with brain enhancing qualities, which bestows him with superhuman abilities.


Wannabe writer Eddie (Cooper) is heartbroken, broke and blocked, until a friend slips him an experimental smart drug, transforming him from scuzzy loser into Hello!-retouched genius. Yes, it’s a Faust for the pharmaceutical age – an uglified Anna Friel pops up as a burned-out former addict – and Eddie soon finds himself haunted by blackouts and hunted by bad guys. Burger (The Illusionist) and Cooper both have enormous fun with the daft material, and it’s good to see De Niro on form, as a billionaire on the trail of Eddie’s secret. With a touch of Scott Pilgrim’s enhanced visuals and tongue firmly in cheek, it’s smart, stylish and entertaining – like Fincher’s The Game on crack.

A loopy joy from start to finish, Bradley Cooper proves that he's the real deal.