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Limitless (2011)

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Makes you wish you were smarter huh?

Bradley Cooper stars as  our hero, Eddie Morra, a snazzy, sharp looking man with a slick apartment.  And yet at the beginning of the movie, standing on the ledge of a forty-story building, it appears he’s about to give it all up and jump.  What could possibly push him to disregard his life, someone who appears to have it all?  Flash back six months, and we can see that Eddie’s climb to the top really started at the bottom. Unkempt, long-haired, broken-hearted, and baggy clothed he shuffles down the streets of New York only to run into his sketchy ex-brother-in-law Vernon (Johnny Whitworth).  They chat about Eddie’s difficulty getting  his book off the ground (writer is, after all, the international homo-career in cinema), have a few laughs, and then Vernon offers Eddie a pill to help in his distress.  NZT, he called it, FDA approved and on the brink of tearing the market apart, just some paperwork to finish up.

Eddie reluctantly takes the clear tablet and they part ways.  Things get real when his landlord’s hot wife gets on his case for being late to pay rent… Eddie starts getting nervous and sweating, and in a fit of emotional instability pops the pill.  What ensues is arguably the best scene in the film.  Hottie keeps talking, but we hear no words.  The darkened hallway begins to glow, every single detail of the room is emphasized in this new light – as if Eddie were once blind and can now see… everything.  The world seemed to stop around him – all that mattered was this new vision.  He easily evades the situation (and gets some) and things are only just getting started.

Some drug, huh?  He wakes up the next day, as stupid (er, normal – just relatively stupid) as ever but still with a finished first draft of his novel.  He’s dying for another fix, so he sets out to find Vernon.  Vernon ends up dead by some third party, but Eddie ends up with a large bagful of NZT  – so no harm done, right?  Oddly evading the cops, Eddie become famous with this drug and his record-breaking climb to the top.

I think its intent was to be mind-blowing, but I’ll be honest I wasn’t googly eyed and drooling like I was for Inception.  The premise was still trippy though, and I enjoyed that for what it was.  Ever since I saw Bradley Cooper for the first time in Alias I’ve liked him, and Limitless was no exception.  I like to see smarts in action – and watching Eddie become quicker and smarter throughout the movie is sick stuff.  The other actors are good contributions as well (when is Robert De Niro NOT good), though I’m not a huge fan of Abbie Cornish.  Their relationship actually kinda blew. “Oh, you’re a bum so it’s time to break up.” “Oh, now you’re hott and powerful, so I want to sleep with you again.” “Oh you’re going crazy now?  Well, see ya!”  Yeah, I don’t dig that.

It’s engaging, and it does make you think a little bit.  Though the moral implications of such a drug are virtually left untouched, it does allow you to pick at your own brain a little, and if anything else makes you want to learn how to focus better.  Though we may never be super humans, we can develop our brain to serve us better, train our minds to do harder things.  I mean, I don’t know about you guys, but I went home feeling like I should read the dictionary or study economics rather than watch TV…

Also, the camera work ROCKS.  From mystery to thriller, the camera serves the story well.  Eye candy at its best.

Unfortunately, the movie’s greatest flaw is the story’s drive from plot, not character.  Eddie is cool stuff, but we don’t see him grow that much.  There are multiple plot holes (not that I was counting, that’s not how I roll), but there was a significant enough number for me to take note.  But, let’s face it, the plot holes don’t matter.  Focusing on the flaws just makes every movie horrible.    So whatever.  It’s just too bad that it couldn’t have gone deeper with the characters.

In regards to the end… I won’t say much except that I didn’t really like it.  It ended quickly and… well, just not how I would have ended it.  It needed more ambiguity.  There, ’nuff said.

Entertaining, great movie to see in the theater, and I’d watch it again.  I’m glad that Brad the man’s doing more things now.  7/10


Written by laurenthejukebox17

June 2, 2011 at 7:52 pm

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