Posted on 6/24/11 05:03 PM
Everything about this idea captivated me. It projected the idea of an interesting premise made for fun viewing. Whilst I did find it pretty entertaining, there is a lot wrong with this film. It would seem that Limitless indeed has it's Limits.
Neil Burger tries to capture the story of writer Eddie (Bradley Cooper), whose life has become one mental block. He is struggling to start his new novel, keep his girlfriend and retain any fulfilment in his life. This all changes when he bumps into his ex wife's brother, who offers him a pill unlike any other. With nothing to lose, Eddie takes this pill which soon unlocks his brains potential making him capable of remembering things he thought he'd forgotten and giving him the motivation to accelerate his life into a higher gear. Obviously with so much potential, Eddie's career soon moves past novel writing into bigger and better things. However, this isn't all as it seems, with severe side effects to the pill and a high demand from dangerous people in the know of the drug, Eddie's path doesn't run as smooth as he hoped.
The problem with Limitless is that it tries far too hard to be something it's not. It tries to be sleek and stylised which although works to some degree, is used in a far too obvious and heavy way making the film seem quite tacky. Some of the fast camera movements looked cheap and actually made me feel quite nauseous. As a result, a lot of the sophistication within the script was lost.
The script is well constructed. I liked its structure and I liked the interaction between characters. It retains a lot of wit but doesn't try to be a comedy. I quite liked the way it deals with drug addiction. It's quite refreshing to see this about a fictitious drug as it makes the issue seem a bit more original. It's just a shame that this wasn't executed to its full potential. Burger's repertoire is sparse. Although I enjoyed The Illusionist and think his efforts on that were praise worthy, he clearly still has a lot more to learn in the world of filmmaking.
Most surprising to me was that I actually liked Bradley Cooper. I thought he did a pretty good job. We can clearly see his transformation not only through appearance but also through his character portrayal and it has opened my eyes to the potential he might have to be a more rounded actor. The supporting cast was pretty standard. Obviously Robert De Niro was faultless. It's nice to see him relaxing after his intense career and taking on some easier, more light-hearted roles. Abbie Cornish who played Lindy, Eddie's love interest is a tough one to decipher. I don't think it's fair to criticise her greatly because she wasn't bad in her role, but there's something about her I just didn't really like. I didn't warm to her character, I didn't sympathise with her anxiety towards Eddie and I didn't really care what happened to her. So I guess, Cornish probably is to blame in some way for this. Perhaps I would have liked her if it were another actress or perhaps we're just not supposed to care much about her, since it's all scripted around Eddie.
So whilst Limitless didn't give me Goosebumps or have me gagging for its DVD release, it was still fairly entertaining. I really liked the concept of it and it managed to keep me engaged throughout. So although it tries too hard and fails to even get close to its full potential, I'd recommend it for a watch - I just wouldn't urge people to rush out and spend money to see it.