Limitless (2011) Movie Explanation

. Today will explain to you a sci-fi thriller film from 2011, titled Limitless.

Spoilers ahead! This article contains spoilers, Take Care!

There’s a loud banging on a metal door, leading to a fancy apartment with boxed-up belongings. A tiny tour of the high-end apartment complex reveals two dead bodies. And on top of the building, standing right on the edge of a balcony is Eddie. He takes one foot off the edge and he hears two gunshots in the next apartment over.
His neighbor must have checked on the noise. Someone is screaming in front of Eddie’s door to be let in. Eddie’s disappointed in himself. Does he jump?

A little over a year earlier, Eddie is walking down the street, looking completely different.
He says he’s a writer. Drinking midday in a bar, he’s telling two guys about his novel, for which no one believes he has a contract. It’s a question if he believes it himself.

Later, he’s seen writing.
Trying to write. Procrastinating. Until he finally leaves his apartment and goes out to drink again. A few weeks, if not even months, pass with him not writing a single word.
Eventually, his girlfriend Lindy leaves him. Eddie thinks it’s out of the blue, but she clearly doesn’t. He gets ready to propose to her, but she reminds him of the last time he was married, to Melissa. That marriage didn’t work out that well.
Later, he’s walking home, feeling bad about himself in general, when he sees his ex-brother-in-law, Vernon. Eddie’s not excited to see him. After a little chit-chat, where they both lie to each other a bit about what they’re doing, Vernon convinces him to have a drink together. They go to a bar and he tells him about how Melissa is doing.
Then they start talking about Eddie’s “creative problems” and Vernon suggests he can help him. He shows him the drug he’s selling. It’s some kind of magic designer drug that supposedly can help you access your whole brain. Eddie doesn’t think it can help him.
Vernon needs to leave, so he gives him his business card and a sample of the expensive drug for free. On his walk home, Eddie is still wallowing in self-loathing, when he decides to take the drug. He walks into his building and immediately runs into his landlord’s wife Valerie who hates him. As she’s screaming at him, his mind is racing, wondering about the effects of the drug, when it finally hits.
Suddenly, he starts noticing everything that he previously wouldn’t have. The little things all around him, the little things about her. At one point, he asks her what’s wrong, catching her off guard. They start talking about her studies, as he begins accessing different memories in his mind that he didn’t even knew he remembered.
He offers to help with her essay as she starts warming up to him. And when the essay is done, they have intercourse. He walks into his apartment and suddenly realizes how filthy and disgusting it is. So he starts cleaning and fixing it up, putting everything in its place, until it looks like an actual place someone would live in.
The drug has made his mind perfectly clear. So he does the one thing he knows he should be doing with a clear mind, writing. And this time, he’s actually doing it. The next morning, Eddie wakes up and feels that the drug has completely wore off.
The good news is that he still has the pages he’s written from his novel, so he goes to see his publisher. Eddie asks her to read the unfinished manuscript and promises to return the advance if she doesn’t like it. As soon as he gets home, he has 3 new messages from her, saying that what she read was brilliant. Eddie thinks to call her back, but instead goes to see Vernon.
He opens the doors for him, looking like someone has roughed him up, and lets him in reluctantly. Vernon knows why he’s there and tells him that he’ll give him more of the drug, but that first he has to run some errands for him. Eddie goes to get his dry cleaning and pick up some breakfast, but when he comes back he finds the apartment door open. The place is completely ransacked and Vernon is on his couch.
Eddie walks over and sees that he’s dead. He immediately calls the police and while he waits for them to get there, he realizes that the people that were apparently looking for the drugs, never found them. So he gets to looking for himself. Eddie ultimately finds the drugs, as well as Vernon’s black book and some money.
Suddenly the police are at the door. Later, he’s being questioned in a police station. The detective is suspicious of Eddie and his story. Melissa calls the detective’s desk and asks to speak to Eddie.
She tells him that she doesn’t want him at Vernon’s funeral and that she’ll call him when all of it is over. Eddie leaves the police station, paranoid that he’s being followed. He gets home, counts the money and takes one tablet, which kicks off a montage of him completely rediscovering himself and the power of the drug. First, he gets a haircut and new clothes.
Finishes his novel and delivers it to his publisher. He learns the piano in 3 days and also learns to speak new languages with little effort, then uses them to pick up women. Suddenly, he can use math to win at poker. He knows what combination of drugs his aunt with cancer needs.
He can talk business with Wall Street types and impress everyone with his wit. He even gets an offer to work for one of them. Eddie makes new friends, rich ones with private jets and poolside manors that he vacations with. But he starts getting reckless and he needs more and more adrenaline rushes.
At some point, he has an epiphany of what he needs to do and it’s not writing. We see him back at his apartment, looking at the trade numbers and taking the drug. He needs money for what he wants to do and investing in trades isn’t enough. Eddie looks for a loan shark at a diner.
He convinces him to give him 100 thousand dollars. They meet for the drop at a park and the loan shark tells him what will happen if he doesn’t return the money. Later, he takes the job offered to him earlier and quickly figures out how to double his money investing. Eddie gets noticed by the bigger players in the finance game and he gets a meeting with one of them.
He tells Lindy about it over dinner and impresses her by ordering in Italian. He apologizes to her and tries to charm her, to win her back. They get back together and start seeing each other again. As time goes by and he becomes more successful, he gets the feeling he’s being followed.
One night, as he’s in his apartment with Lindy, he starts feeling strange. The next day, him and his boss have a lunch meeting with Carl Van Loon. Eddie explains his grandiose pattern recognition abilities and tries to impress the man. He gets a ride home from him and in the car Van Loon hands him some documents, telling him to look them over.
When they reach his place, Eddie gives him an evaluation of what he’s read. The man is impressed and sets up another meeting with him. Eddie’s too energized to go home, so he takes a walk, planning his future, thinking he could even be president one day. Suddenly, he starts feeling strange again, as if time started to move completely different.
So he keeps walking and walking until he reaches a bar, unaware of how he got there. Then he’s at a party with one girl and next in a hotel with another. He thinks he’s being followed. Later he starts a fight in the subway, realizing that he’s learned how to fight just by watching Kung Fu movies and boxing on TV.
He runs throughout the city and suddenly finds himself on top of a bridge, where he stops, without being able to recall the last 18 hours of his life. Eddie wakes up the next day feeling horrible. He decides not to take another tablet and tries to go through the documents sent to him by Van Loon, but they seem illegible. Eddie goes to the meeting sober and unprepared.
Van Loon keeps asking him questions expecting high level answers from him, but all Eddie can focus on is the TV, where the news are reporting that the woman he was in the hotel with is dead. He leaves the meeting abruptly. When he gets home, the phone rings. It’s Melissa.
He asks her to meet him later that day. Eddie remembers Vernon’s black book and starts calling the people from the list. Everyone on the list is either dead or terribly sick. The last number he dials belongs to the man who followed him and who’s sitting on the same bench with him.
Eddie sees him and runs, as the man chases after him. He finally looses him by going inside a cab. He meets with Melissa and she tells him that she had also been on the drug and barely made it out alive when she stopped using it. She notices that he’s been taking it too and tells him to go off it slowly, otherwise it could be lethal.
Eddie keeps getting worse as he comes back home, where the loan shark is waiting for him. The man takes his last tablet and ingests it. As Eddie is grabbing the money he owes him from the bank the man seems unaffected by the drug. Eddie gives him his money and he says he feels great, but there are no noticeable changes to his intelligence yet.
Later, Eddie stumbles into Lindy’s office. He tells her everything and asks her to get him the drugs he’s hidden in her apartment. Lindy gets there and finds them easily, but as she’s getting back to the office she calls Eddie and tells him that there is a man following her. Her cab gets stuck in traffic and the man is seen coming up to her.
Eddie tells her to run and the man chases after her too. Lindy runs into a park and asks two guys to help her. The man walks up to them and stabs them both as she runs away again. Lindy hides and calls Eddie, tells him that she’s stuck and afraid.
He tells her to take one of the tablets and she does it. Suddenly the drug takes effect on Lindy too. She goes through the same thing Eddie did when he first took it and instantly starts running away, knowing exactly what to do. The man follows her every step, until she incapacitates him and escapes.
Lindy gets to Eddie and gives him a tablet. They check into a hotel together. The following morning Lindy is getting ready to leave and Eddie tries to persuade her that he’ll be get on track. But, after taking the drug herself, she disagrees.
He sees the good sides of the drug, while she is scared of it. Eddie tells her that he will eventually get off the drug, but she leaves regardless. Eddie sees the loan shark waiting for him and he goes up to him. The man wants more drugs so he gives him a few to hold him over.
Later, he hires two bodyguards that follow him everywhere and he goes to see Van Loon. Eddie apologizes about the meeting, explaining he was sick, but he had already won the man over before, so Van Loon still gives him the job. He brokers the biggest merger in history for Van Loom and gets back on his feet. Not waiting around until his stash of the drug runs out, he goes to a chemist and tells him that he’ll give him 2 million dollars if he recreates it in 6 months.
While Eddie’s having lunch one day, the detective comes to see him. He tells him that he’s been identified as the man running out of the hotel when the young woman was killed. So, Eddie hires the top lawyer to bail him out. Later, he’s at a big meeting for the merger with Van Loon, when he notices that one of the men, Atwood, from the opposing side is sick.
They will reconvene to sign the contract the next day. After the meeting, Eddie talks to Van Loon and he threatens him not to make him his competition, explaining that whatever makes him that good at his job is a gift, not something earned through hard work. Eddie goes back to the hotel, finding his room trashed. He buys the fancy apartment that was seen in the beginning of the film.
Later, he runs into the loan shark again, who’s completely transformed. He tells Eddie to bring him more tablets or he’ll tell his boss about his trouble with the police. The next day, Van Loon and Eddie are waiting for Atwood to come in and sign the documents for the merger. When he doesn’t show up, his wife comes to their offices to tell them that he’s sick, but as soon as he’s better he will sign the contract.
The two of them walk her out and as she’s going into the car Eddie sees that the man who’s been following him is getting inside the car with her. Her husband was sick because of the drug. Eddie meets his lawyer in a police station and gets into a line up. Thankfully, he doesn’t get picked out.
He leaves the loan shark waiting and instead goes back to the Van Loon office, who’s watching the news. They’re reporting about the merger. His new boss is angry about it, but tells him that Atwood is dying. He’s worried about the merger.
Eddie realizes that he needs to take another tablet and leaves, but can’t find his stash. He comes back to the office, when a package comes for him. As Van Loon keeps pushing for information he thinks Eddie has, he opens the package to find the severed hands of his bodyguards inside. He rushes out and goes back to his apartment.
There he listens to the news where Atwood’s wife is giving a statement, rather lying about the merger. Her lawyer takes over the interview, which is also his lawyer. The doorbell rings and it’s the loan shark, asking him to open the door. Next, Eddie is seen standing on the edge of his balcony.
He doesn’t jump. He tries to remember where he could’ve left one more tablet and scrambles to find one. When he does, he ends up dropping it in the same moment that the loan shark walks into his apartment. His goons grab Eddie and sit him down, as the he explains that he uses the drug dissolved in a solution and injected through a vein.
He shoots up and tells his men to find Eddie’s stash, while he tortures him for the information. The goons are trying to open up his safe, so they don’t hear when Eddie stabs their boss as he leans over. He kills him, then drinks his blood to get a fix of the drug. It works, so he knows how to fight off the goons.
He takes down one of them and then the other. Meanwhile, Atwood dies at the hospital. Eddie goes there and is seen sitting down next to the man who followed him. Later, the same man helps him find more drugs in the apartment of the lawyer, who took Atwood’s stash for himself.
Twelve months later, Eddie has a book out and is running for the senate. Van Loon is waiting in his office. They chat a little, but Van Loon tells him that he knows about the drug. He tells him that he shut down his lab that morning and that he can supply him with the drug in the future if he agrees to work for him.
They leave the office to get lunch together, but Eddie refuses to get in the car as well as work with Van Loon. Eddie tells him that he learned how to change the drug, how to get off it while keeping all of the positive effects. He can see everything, he’s unstoppable. Eddie refuses any possibility to work with Van Loon and sends him on his way.
He walks to a restaurant and meets with Lindy there.

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