Saturday, May 14, 2011

Limitless: A Great Concept that is Wasted in a Mismanged Story

By: Da’Mon Guy

     Limitless is moderately entertaining film that intertwines elements of sci-fi with suspense to produce a silver screen manifestation for the power of the human mind. The movie stars Bradley Cooper (The A-Team), Robert DeNiro (Everybody’s Fine), Abbey Cornish (Sucker Punch), Andrew Howard (I Spit on Your Grave 2010), and Anna Friel (Land of the Lost).

     A down on his luck writer discovers an experimental drug that has the power to unlock 100% of the brain’s abilities. After he takes the drug, he begins to see the world in a new light.
Limitless is a moderately entertaining misuse of a good concept. The movie cleverly intermingles the idea of a intelligence boosting drug with the with some impressive visual effects to effectively create a great showcase for the positive and negative effects of drugs usage.

     One of the best aspect of Limitless is its visual effects. Limitless does a terrific job at establishing the level of euphoria that is induced by the NZT drug. The cinematography and visual effects are used effectively to externalize the effects of NZT and place the audience into the state that mind becomes influenced by the drug. The director uses a number of subtle nuances to immerse the audience into the world of Eddie’s drug induced level of consciousness.

     Limitless comes up short in terms of the story. The story isn’t very entertaining. The movie is supposed to be a compelling suspense story but the movie doesn’t effectively establish the plot. The movie tries to infuse a level of suspense that it never truly creates. The details that are associated with the telling of the story are better than the story itself. The film seduces the audiences with a shallow showcase of Eddie’s newfound abilities but it never develops a real story around these larger than life abilities. Instead it whizzes through too many of the details that would make the suspense aspect of the story effective.

     Bradley Cooper is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors. He has been terrific in a number of roles and this one is no different. Cooper gives an excellent portrayal of the drug induced Mora. Cooper basically plays two characters. Eddie, the underachieving slob who is completely inept and then he transforms into the Eddie, the limitless conversationalist who can do anything. He exquisitely handles them both. He single-handily carries the film. Abbey Cornish does an mediocre job as Mora’s love interest, Lindy. Robert DeNiro makes an appearance, however, he is nothing more than a name drop to draw viewers. His role as Carl Van Loon is nothing special.

     Limitless is a movie that is all fluff. The film is highlighted by a number of good details to marginalize the lackluster story that it really is. The film is a mismanaged suspense story that races through to many details to be effective. The first 35-40 min of the plot of the film is completely wasted. It’s a bunch of rambling around and watching Mora’s drug induced state. The story really isn’t established you’ve sat through a third of the movie. The film is far too superficial as it wastes the tremendous potential of its concept. The film tries to keep you engaged by some fluff and visual effects to sugarcoat the shortcomings of this debacle. By the end of the movie, you will fill like you are coming off of some drug induced high much like the characters in the film. It’ll will take you to a high and then quickly dissipate as if you never even saw it. This is best served as something to absorb some time on a dreary night at home. It would serve you best to just rent it from Redbox or get on Netflix.

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