For the final four I am releasing the matchups of actors and actresses on the same day, so while I am waiting for the last few votes to come in I got the chance to see a couple of movies. One of which was Breaking Dawn: Part 1, I won't comment at the moment. The other film was Limitless, and I found it to be a pleasant surprise. Unfortunately, Limitless as a film never quite reaches its potential due to a serious lack of ambition on the screenwriter and director's part. I can't help but think Neil Burger had something incredible in his hands if he had only dared to take it further, but instead he takes the simple way out with an attempt to make an extremely entertaining film. Turn off your brain and turn it back on when the movie is over. If you take this outlook going into the movie, Limitless succeeds.
Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) is a fairly intelligent man, but his dreams of being a writer are quickly diminishing. Growing tired of Eddie's ridiculous behaviour his girlfriend Lindy, (Abbie Cornish) has finally broken off their once promising relationship. Everything is now quite clear to Eddie, his future is going absolutely no where in a hurry. Until the day he runs into his previous brother-in-law walking down the street, that is. Humans can supposedly only access 20% percent of their brain, but he is here to introduce Eddie to a drug called NZT, that when taken allows a person to access the other 80%. At first he is very cautious to such a pill, but after reviewing the undeniably desperate situation he is in, Eddie takes the pill.
Vernon, (Johnny whitworth) the man responsible for showing Eddie the drug, now has Eddie at his feet doing whatever he needs. But this does not last long. Returning to Vernon's apartment from the dry cleaners, Eddie finds him murdered. Before the police get to the apartment, he is determined to find the stash of NZT so that his life can get going in the right direction, and to no surprise he does. With a seemingly unlimited amount of NZT (and intelligence) Eddie begins to feel like he is on top of the world. But then something unexpected happens, the drug begins to take a negative affect on him, and with hit men and business men knocking at his door, Eddie might not have an answer to this problem.
Neil Burger intelligently directs this very unintelligent film. Limitless has about as much visual appeal and style as any film I have seen this year. Of course there are far greater achievements a director should go for, but considering the purpose of the film he hits a home run in that category. There is nothing good about a comedy that is accidentally a drama, or a drama that is accidentally a comedy. But in the case of Limitless, Burger sets out to thrill the audience and does so very well. When that is clearly the main goal, how can you complain? Well, I can't.
I have never been a big Bradley Cooper fan, but I cannot help but be impressed with his performance here. All the pressure is on him, he has to control the screen. De Niro has not nearly enough time to actually assist in the supporting department (that was disappointing, I know) and with there basically not being a lead actress for much of the film, Cooper has to handle it all himself. Granted, Abbie Cornish does have quite a bit of screen time in the second half of the film, but for the most part it is all Cooper. I know he is not the greatest actor in the world, and movies like The A-Team really make his status go down, but in Limitless he plays his role about as good as anyone would have.
Final Word: Limitless does not have a powerful script or any intelligence to back it up, and for that it is hurt in the long run. But seriously, chill out movie lovers with your deep analytical criticism, just relax and enjoy the film, it's worth your time.