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.

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