Mandatory Movie Battles: Netflix’s ‘Project Power’ v. Bradley Cooper’s ‘Limitless’

What if a pill could make you rich and powerful? It can solve any problem. It can unlock your potential. But once the world is yours, everyone wants a piece.” 

If there was a pill that could give you five minutes of pure power, would you take it?” 

That first tagline you read was for the Bradley Cooper vehicle, Limitless (2011). The second was for Netflix’s recently-released Project Power. Both films revolve around a mysterious drug that serves as one hell of a plot device. Project Power’s pill temporarily gives the consumer superpowers at the risk of killing them while Limitless’ “nootropic” (NZT-48) allows the consumer to use the full extent of their brainpower, but it also makes you the definition of an addict. Who would’ve thought that drugs could cause so many problems? Societal/free-market contemplation aside, it’s not enough to have a solid tagline and concept, a movie needs to deliver the goods (even if those goods are passed along in a plastic baggy in the parking lot of your nearest 7/11—a deal’s a deal). So which is the better film? Let’s find out! 

Cover Photo: Netflix/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment 

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Equipped with a unique concept, Project Power attempts to subvert expectations but then, five minutes later (it would seem), it becomes a superhero knock-off. Limitless is the power fantasy we craved and still crave. While it’s certainly an exercise in vanity and not an existential drug trial like Alan Glynn’s The Dark Fields (the novel that inspired it), Limitless relishes in the arrogance of everything it claims to be. 

I don’t have delusions of grandeur, I have an actual recipe for grandeur.” — Eddie Morra

Overall Winner: Limitless

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