A paranoia-fuelled action thriller about an unsuccessful writer whose life is transformed by a top-secret "smart drug" that allows him to use 100% of his brain and become a perfect version of himself. His enhanced abilities soon attract shadowy forces that threaten his new life in this darkly comic and provocative film.
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So far 2011 has been a fantastic year for movies; itâ€™s barely mid-March and Iâ€™ve already seen half a dozen films that I really enjoyed - Limitless definitely being among them.
The â€˜movie-by-numberâ€™ approach is of course still prevalent in Hollywood but films like this and the forth coming Source Code, Insidious and last monthâ€™s The Adjustment Bureau all prove that there are fresh new ideas out there and slowly they are coming to the fore. So when you sit down to watch Limitless donâ€™t be surprised if you arenâ€™t immediately certain of what is coming next. Revel in the uncertainty because in modern cinema itâ€™s increasingly rare.
Limitless tells the story of Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) a mediocre writer who is the absolute personification of the phrase â€˜down-on-his-luck.â€™ Heâ€™s crippled by a severe case of writersâ€™ block that is preventing him from fulfilling his commitment to his publisher for a new book, his girlfriend has left him because of his habitual laziness and lack of focus and his landlord is about ready to throw him out on the street if he doesnâ€™t start paying his rent again soon. A chance meeting with his x-brother-in-law (Johnny Witworth) gives Eddie the chance to change all of that by simply taking a pill called NZT.
The pill promises to allow the user to access the full potential of his or hers own brainpower; and it delivers on that promise. After taking the pill Eddie realizes he can remember everything heâ€™s ever been exposed to in life and suddenly has the ability to learn new skills at an incredibly accelerated rate. Of course, as with most drugs, there are side effects that Eddie isnâ€™t counting on. In addition, he has a loan shark on his tail and as he achieves more and more success thanks to this pill more and more people become interested in learning his â€˜secretâ€™ which puts him and his loved ones in imminent danger.
The major question surrounding the release of this movie is, â€˜can Bradley Cooper carry a movie on his own?â€™ This film was his chance to prove that he is in fact the leading man / movie star type and not just a fantastic supporting player. And honestly, he succeeds. This is his movie. Heâ€™s in basically every frame of it and there isnâ€™t a single moment where he doesnâ€™t own it. He vacillates between down on his luck artist who canâ€™t make the rent to super powerful man about town who has the world by the balls and he is consistently engaging throughout all of it. Where he leads, the audience follows without question. If I had any question at all it was why his shirt didnâ€™t come off more often, but I guess thatâ€™s a sign of his rising success. (Seriously though, give the people what they want Mr. Cooper â€“ youâ€™re not too good for that quite yet.)
The supporting cast members all do an adequate job but with the exception of Robert DeNiro they all fade away next to Cooper. Abbie Cornish seems like a lovely girl but sheâ€™s honestly interchangeable with a host of other young actresses in Hollywood today. She doesnâ€™t detract from the movie at all but she also doesnâ€™t really add anything special to it either.
Andrew Howard, our mafia king pin / loan shark, is less than terrifying as the heavy and Johnny Whitworth while slightly more convincing and engaging as Cooperâ€™s sleazy drug dealing x-brother-in-law still doesnâ€™t rise to the level of performance set by the films lead.
Robert DeNiro, while not flexing any new acting muscles in the part of financial mogul Carl Van Loon, is still a joy to watch on screen and serves as a great counter to Cooperâ€™s young sudden upstart Eddie Morra. Cooper manages to hold his own in intense scenes with DeNiro that most young actors would have been eaten alive in.
Limitless isnâ€™t a conventional blockbuster movie. It asks questions of its audience, requires their attention and has a wonderful pay off for those who allow themselves to be fully engaged by it. See this movie with friends because I guarantee when itâ€™s all over youâ€™ll have plenty to talk about.
This could signal the beginning of a new career for Mr. Cooper; I sincerely hope he doesnâ€™t allow it to go to his head, however. If he suddenly becomes â€˜too cool for schoolâ€™ thanks to this success his time in the spotlight will be severely â€˜limitedâ€™ if youâ€™ll pardon the pun. The last thing we need is another spoiled â€˜too-good-for-everyoneâ€™ actor in Hollywood.
Please visit www.TheCinemaSource.com for more on this review with photos and INTERVIEWS with the Cast and Filmmakers!!!