Most helpful critical review
Not awful, but a missed opportunity.
on 8 December 2013
I find it easy to like Bradley Cooper; he's a laid-back, easily entertaining guy who seems both smart and quite self-effacing.
This is actually not a bad film, but it is glossy, shallow and inconsistent, carried along largely by BC's easy charm. The basic idea has been done many times before, rarely very well in film.
It tries to be clever, but just look at the details. In maths; for the money he was trying to acquire for some never really specified reason. At his rate of investment performance, he'd have been a trillionaire in three weeks- he didn't need anyone else. In his genius period, he forgets to repay the money lending thug while he could, which is just preposterous.
On the good side, the effects surrounding his disturbing progress though the city are nicely disconcerting. However, the film has a beginning and an end, yet no middle; there's no significant period where he's on top of the situation, and either planning the future, or not; this bit's there, just, but it's all too brief. Even "Jumper" did that bit better, for all its faults. He seems to benefit more and suffer less side effects from the drug than others. Would he have got a significant dose of the drug when he desperately needed it ? Hardly. The inconsistencies in the ensuing fight scene are just laughable.
After this, it recovers a bit, and the way the introduction of the flashback scene is done is a nice touch that scores some more on the credit side.
The ending is a bit more satisfying than some of that which precedes it deserves. Seeing the alternative ending, they picked the better one for the movie.
Overall ? Well, I'd give 6 1/2 to 7/10, but there's too much poor in this to give it four stars, so three is all it can have. Missed opportunities again; all the ingredients were there for this to have been a good deal better.