Film Review: Limitless

27 03 2011

I’m pretty tired today but I’m going to dig deep into my creative psyche to tell you all about the movie that I went to see yesterday: Limitless – starring Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro and Abbie Cornish.

I know it’s not the done thing to gush like a 13 year old girl at a Bieber concert before I’ve even written anything but… I loved this film! It’s not 5/5 brilliant nor will it be getting any nominations, but it is a really original, simple idea that will leave you wondering “Why didn’t I think of that?”   As well as the concept the acting was also captivating: Bradley Cooper was convincing both as a nice guy finishing last and as a high flying, intelligent, charming corporate type.

Realising that I’ve gone from 0-100mph without actually telling you what the movie is about, let’s back up a bit. Cooper plays Eddie Morah, a nice but essentially failed human being who has been trying to write a novel for 4 years and has got nowhere. A chance meeting with an old relative (technically ex-relative) leads to Eddie trying a shady pill which the relative claims will trigger all his mental synapses and allow him to use 100% of his brain. Almost immediately Eddie becomes the guy everyone wants to be around; cultural appetites, charisma, clarity of thought, drive and success follow very quickly and it’s not long before he falls onto the radar of New York Energy magnate Carl Van Loon.

Crazy as it sounds, taking some unknown, untried, untested pill that radically alters your mental state leads to some unforeseen consequences for Eddie and he also meets some undesirable characters on the road to success.

There’s some awesome cinematography used in Limitless – the opening sequence is trippy and Burger really utilises the backdrop of New York city to really demonstrate the bottom of the bottom and the top of the top. Suspense filled moments are thick and fast, the performances from all of the cast are really solid – Cooper and De Niro especially, and above all I think the whole concept is great. There’s something very Matrix-like about how Eddie absorbs every piece of information with no effort and can suddenly recall long forgotten memories from his subconscious at will.

You could argue that one of the films drawbacks could be that if you had “a four figure I.Q, you would do something more substantial than brokering a merger – regardless of how large it is. My rebuttal would be that I’m sure everyone would have very different ideas about what they’d do if this concept were real and that later on in the film you see that this is just a small piece in Eddie’s master plan. So there.

I think all of us have an idea of the perfect version of themselves – I’d be a top writer, musician, athlete, math wizz and know dozens of languages – even Welsh. If there was a pill to not only stop me being bored in Mr Windle’s math class when I was 15 and really engage with the subject and more importantly understand it – it would be quite hard to turn it down. Just throwing it out there – What would be the perfect version of yourself? Feel free to leave that in the comments.

Great movie, check it out.

4.5/5

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