Archive for the ‘Limitless’ Category

Limitless – review


Limitless is the new film by director Neil Burger, best known for his 2006 film The Illusionist which starred Edward Norton.  Bradley Cooper (The Hangover) stars as Eddie Morra a down on his luck, broke writer who’s girlfriend Lindy, played by Abbie Cornish (Sucker Punch) finally decides to leave him.  With his life in complete shambles Eddie randomly runs in to his ex-brother in law on the streets of New York City.  Eddie agrees to have a drink with him, and during that time confesses that his life is in udder shambles.  We soon find out that his ex-brother in law has a torrid past as a drug dealer, and is now pushing a new drug, only labeled as NZT.  NZT is a drug that accesses 100% of your brains capability.  It allows you to do things you could never even imagine.  You can learn anything, be anything, do anything.

Eddie gets a free taste and precedes to write the first 60 pages of his novel in the course of one day.  He decides that he needs to get more, and visits his ex-brother in law again who agrees to give Eddie more, but sends him on some errands for him, and when Eddie comes back he finds his new dealer dead.  It looks like someone else wants the NZT more than him, but they never found it.  Eddie finds it.  A hugeeee stash of it.  Soon the world is at his feet.  He completes his book in 3 days, and decides to enter the financial world and take it by storm.

The first hour of Limitless is pure genius, and it’s shot in a really innovative way that reminded me a lot of Fight Club meets Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Eddie begins to think 10 steps ahead of everyone and that is produced on the screen with a lot of great CG images, and fast paced editing.  The film really flows along as Eddie narrates his moves for us the entire time.  He gets more and more caught up in the stock market, and soon gains the attention of the power players, one of which is Carl Van Loon played by Robert DeNiro.

Van Loon takes Eddie under his wing, and Eddie tips him off on the secrets he knows about the industry.  This is where the film starts to get a little convoluted and spiral a little off course.  It seems that there are a lot more people that know about NZT than Eddie first anticipated.  He has to find a way to keep the drug a secret, while also keeping those off his back that want his stash.  It also seems that, like most drugs, NZT has some not so nice side-effects, and Eddie needs to find a way to handle those as well.

For as smart as the first half of the film is, the second half incorporates a lot of dumb plot lines in which the characters (who are on the smart juice) do a lot of not so smart things.  The film begins to get bogged down with to many characters and we kind of forget what the film is even really about to begin with.  They never really go back to explore why Eddie wanted to take the drug in the first place, and that was to become a writer.  It becomes a fore-thought in the equation of the film and we see a lot of great ideas from the first half of the film fall by the wayside.  Instead the film begins to incorporate a lot of action sequences.  Maybe the writers should have gotten some of that NZT to smarten the script up a bit.

I think Limitless is an extremely engaging and entertaining film, and it’s got a sharp, slick look to it.  The film just begins to unravel a little bit near the climax of the film, and in the end actually creates a moral conundrum for itself about the possibilities of a drug like this.

Grade: B