Limitless (M)

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byTenani French23/03/2011

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 105 mins

Visually surprising and unexpectedly funny, Limitless is a techno-thriller which poses some interesting questions about consciousness and reality (think The Matrix but with drugs instead of computers). Bradley Cooper is as charismatic as ever, and combined with director Neil Burger produces a slick, smart (albeit predictable) film.

What's it all about?
Eddie Mora (Bradley Cooper) is a down-on-his-luck writer struggling to find inspiration. After being dumped by his girlfriend Lindy (Abbie Cornish) Eddie runs into Vernon Grant (Johnny Whitworth), the brother of his ex-wife Melissa Grant (Anna Friel). Vernon explains how humans only use 20% of their brains and offers Eddie a drug called NZT, which he claims unlocks the full potential of the human brain. Much to Eddie’s surprise the drug works and Eddie seeks out Vernon for more of it. After finding Vernon murdered Eddie steals a stash of NZT and uses his newfound capabilities to make a great deal of money in the stock market. Soon a powerful businessman Carl Von Loon (Robert DeNiro) hires Eddie and together they create a map to huge financial success.

As NZT takes hold of Eddie’s life he starts to develop a dependence on it, and comes under attack from others who know about it. As the danger escalates Eddie must make the choice between the drug and all that comes with it and the safety of himself and his wife.

The Good
Bradley Cooper is stunning as always and holds the film through some of its weaker plot points, and his dramatic skills are complimented by his comedic timing, especially in the narration. The character’s journey from grungy writer to slick successful stock trader showcases Cooper’s range as an actor and cements his place in the halls of Hollywood’s finest leading men.

Neil Burger directs as if the film itself is going through the high of the drug, which provides the audience with a rollercoaster ride of visual highs and lows. There are some impressive uses of different lenses and zooms which give a mind-bending feeling without the over-the-top special effects of other films (I’m looking at you, Inception). Cinematography by Jo Williams paints a varying picture of saturated optimism juxtaposed with dark, dull helplessness. It’s quite stunning and leads the audience through the film without screaming out at them how they are meant to be feeling.

The Bad
The main issue with Limitless is that it’s utterly predictable. The film has a fantastic director, a killer cast and an interesting premise, but the plot meanders around until the totally under-whelming finale. It also manages not to have a climax of any particular note and rather just ends without warning.

Worth seeing?
The film has all the makings of a great film; a talented cast, inventive director and intriguing premise, however the plot leaves a lot to be desired. That said Bradley Cooper and director Neil Burger provide enough talent to offset the film’s shortcomings. In the end it’s a film worth seeing, however you’ll only need to use 20% of your brain.

Film Trailer

Limitless (M)
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Content updated: 15/10/2019 03:21

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