Review: Limitless

Based on Alan Glynn's novel, The Dark Fields, Limitless follows struggling writer, Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) who's life is on a slump after being dumped by girlfriend (Abbie Cornish). A chance meeting with his ex-brother-in-law leads to Morra accepting new drug NZT-48, which allows us to use 100% of our brain's capacity. However, every drug has its side affects    

The idea itself is very fresh and the film has been marketed as a cool drug-thriller with a young and likeable cast. Originally starting as a display of how the world could be at your fingertips with such a drug, the film goes down the typical drug-thriller route of trying to come clean and his life becomes a paranoia-infused nightmare. At this point the film looses a large part of it's style and freshness just simply becoming another action movie. Bradley Cooper is extremely likeable and the film does allow him to show great range - the character could have easily ended up being a smug git, but Cooper keeps us with the character the whole way. The film never stops being fun, with some nice touches of humour, like a scene where Cooper manages to seduce his landlords with his new found intelligence.  Abbie Cornish and Robert DeNiro are well used and have some excellent scenes - in particular, DeNiro has a monologue about working up the ladder of capitalism, that really allows him to show of a fraction of his talent.

The film does feel slightly linear and could maybe do with a dosage of NZT itself - there's nothing overly shocking or unpredictable about the film and those that have seen enough drug-thrillers will know this is staying in reasonably safe territory. Elements of a murder plot are casually added in, but really of no use and importance to the film - simply feeling like it's there to add more to the run time of the film. The use of Bradley Cooper's over frequent narration also makes us feel like we're simply being guided round a track and again is not much use to the narrative. There are some little plot holes - like Morra ends up dealing NZT to a rather stereotypical Russian gangster, one scene where Morra is not on NZT manages to outsmart the gangster who is on NZT - which does not feel right. Neil Burger's direction is largely quite interesting and stylish but frequent use of a motion zoom becomes nauseating, which might be the effect he was going for - but isn't the most pleasant visual.

Overall, Limitless is very entertaining with a charming performance from Bradley Cooper and a fun, entertaining script, but it does fall into familiar territory and end up as a basic action flick.

Review 1628547909718780201

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