In Limitless, Bradley Cooper plays Eddie Morra, a grungy, feckless, kind-of-despicable no-hoper, whose life is completely transformed on consumption of a teensie leettle pill. Said pill is engineered to activate the bits of brain that normally go unused – that’s quite a bit of brain for Mr. Morra – thus turning Bradley from homeless-looking dude (incl. ghastly frizzy ponytail!) to the smokin’ hot King of Awesomeness we secretly know for certain that he is.

There are complications of course – there’s a plot involving a number of corrupt businessmen and their lawyers, a zippy Russian mobster (stand-out performance – the actor’s Welsh for God’s sake), some rather deadly side-effects and a sweet-faced girlfriend, but I can’t tell you too much about that. Because once Bradley’s cleaned himself up a bit and is working the hand-tailored Italian suits, I kind of lost interest in everything else. Actually, that’s unfair; I thought it was pretty entertaining, and it’s visually interesting too.

Although there are a handful of establishing scenes in New York – most notably the Wollman Ice Rink in Central Park, site of a pivotal chase scene for the much-abused girlfriend – Limitless mostly filmed on soundstages in, wait for it, Philadelphia (of all places….) I thought it felt authentic. It also filmed a bit in Mexico – there’s a nifty racing scene through Puerta Vallarta involving a very product-placed Maserati:

Maserati sourced a dark-gray GranTurismo Coupe from its official importer in Mexico and shipped a matching four-seater from the U.S. to Puerto Vallarta in time for filming in June. No money changed hands in the deal; in the end, Maserati spent less than $10,000 on the project — with most of that going toward shipping costs and payment for a company technician who was on location for the one-day shoot.