The Corner

Limitless Banality (Spoiler Alert!)

This item is about the movie Limitless, so if you were planning to see it, you should stop reading now.

The basic plot of Limitless is that there’s this schlub who gets some pills that make him really, really smart, and all sorts of wacky hi-jinx ensue, but then he runs out of pills and it’s a bummer, but then he gets some more and everything’s cool. So far, so unsurprising, though along the way they manage to blow a lot of stuff up, so it’s not bad overall. (Wait, was that another movie I saw? Never mind.)

Anyway, at the end there’s an epilogue that takes place a year later. The ex-schlub is cleaned up and smiling and prosperous, and he doesn’t creep out his beautiful blonde girlfriend anymore, and with his super-amazing mental powers, he’s doing something really exciting with his life. You’ll never guess what it is.

Making bazillions on Wall Street? Curing cancer? Increasing yields of agricultural staples without genetic modification? Writing, painting, or making music better than anyone else ever has? Nope, nope, nope, and nope nope nope.

Here’s what this mega-meta-genius is doing with his unprecedentedly powerful brain: He’s running for U.S. senator from New York. Not even president — senator. And from New York, the state that elected Al D’Amato three times. Am I missing something? That’s like being the best basketball player who ever lived, and becoming a pastry chef. I’m sure there are movies with even bigger anticlimaxes at the end, but I’m just wondering how they pitched this one to the studio execs:  “I tell ya, Harvey, it’s got everything: Sex, drugs, money, violence, suspense, social commentary, and then, at the end . . . campaign consultants!”

Fred Schwarz — Fred Schwarz is a deputy managing editor of National Review.

Most Popular

White House

The Problem Isn’t Just the GOP, Mr. Comey

During a CNN town hall on Wednesday night, James Comey alleged that the Republican party allows President Trump to get away with making inappropriate statements without holding him accountable. “If the Republicans, if they just close their eyes and imagine Barack Obama waking up in the morning saying someone ... Read More
Law & the Courts

‘Judges for the #Resistance’

At Politico, I wrote today about the judiciary’s activism against Trump on immigration: There is a lawlessness rampant in the land, but it isn’t emanating from the Trump administration. The source is the federal judges who are making a mockery of their profession by twisting the law to block the Trump ... Read More
White House

Trump’s Friendships Are America’s Asset

The stale, clichéd conceptions of Donald Trump held by both Left and Right — a man either utterly useless or only rigidly, transactionally tolerable — conceal the fact that the president does possess redeeming talents that are uniquely his, and deserve praise on their own merit. One is personal friendliness ... Read More
U.S.

Columbia 1968: Another Untold Story

Fifty years ago this week, Columbia students riding the combined wave of the civil-rights and anti-war movements went on strike, occupied buildings across campus, and shut the university down. As you revisit that episode of the larger drama that was the annus horribilis 1968, bear in mind that the past isn’t ... Read More
Culture

Only the Strident Survive

‘I am not prone to anxiety,” historian Niall Ferguson wrote in the Times of London on April 22. “Last week, however, for the first time since I went through the emotional trauma of divorce, I experienced an uncontrollable panic attack.” The cause? “A few intemperate emails, inadvertently forwarded ... Read More