If you could take one tablet to make you smarter, faster, more entertaining, probably richer and maybe even sexier, would you take it?

Apparently we only use 20% of our brain function, some less than others of course but imagine if you could suddenly use all of it. Everything you ever learned, read or seen, instantly at your disposal with the communication skills and confidence to match.

Struggling New York writer Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) is faced with this dilemma, not for long, as the pill is on the way down before you can say, was that FDA approved?

Suddenly Morra can finish his book, start trading derivatives and other complex financial instruments, whilst learning several languages and getting a hair cut.

In a nicely played moving montage, it is clear he has made it or is certainly well on his way.

Of course this is a movie, so the path to true success and happiness cannot run true and many scenarios are thrown in his way before the well played and slightly ambiguous denouement.

If you can get through the opening nausea inducing credits, this a fun film which does not take itself too seriously. Plenty of thrills and spills and whilst dabbling in the ethical dilemma the screenplay poses, it stays firmly in the shallow end, leaving deeper waters to other films.

Of course with so many illegal substances freely available in many parts of the world, the opening question is somewhat moot, the answer increasingly being, hell yeah. Of course whilst the real life upside is likely to be lessened, the downside is about the same, albeit without hit-men attempting to assassinate you in most cases.

Cooper, a late replacement for an injured Shia Le Beouf, does well in his first starring lead role. Perhaps not a true breakout role but another solid entry into his filmography and increasing star status.

The film does veer off track when the inevitable downside and side effects present themselves, few moviegoers like watching “Junkie” acting but the story picks up a good head of steam for a rousing send off.

It is good to see De Niro back on the screen in a more serious role and although solid, he adds little star power here. Lindy (Abbie Cornish) adds more to the proceedings as Morra’s long suffering girlfriend.

The violence is occasionally more than you are expecting but the transformation of a Eastern block drug dealer (Howard) is rather amusing to watch.

“More finesse, I like that word, I did not know it before”


Good fun with a neat concept that it is not fully utilized but provides a solid couple of hours of entertainment

Enjoyable, entertaining and confirms that Cooper might yet become a true star, even before the inevitable “Hangover 2” arrives.