I’ll make this short because I gave up on the film half way through. In a nutshell, it’s a cross between the classic 1968 film “Charly” about an experiment which turns a retarded man into a genius, and “Wall Street”, a film about the Joy of Greed. But without the quality of either.
In this case, we have an underachieving writer who pops a mind-altering drug, becomes a genius, conquers Wall Street, and so on. I gave up after the main character got into the millionaire lifestyle and started losing hours of his day. I could kind of tell where things were heading and basically lost interest in the lead character at that point. He was completely one-dimensional.
De Niro usually has a lot of charisma, but he was stiff and wooden. It almost looked like he wasn’t sure of his lines or something. He seemed out of it.
This could have been a really interesting movie, but they turned it into an exercise in self-indulgence. It’s well made enough, and in general the performances are decent. It’s just not really all that interesting. Wait for it to come to NetFlix.