Movie Review: “Limitless”

Written by Josh Litman April 08, 2011

The plot of Limitless revolves around Bradley Cooper who tries this fishy new drug called NZT that allows him to access 100% of his brain, 100% of the time, essentially letting him learn/do pretty much anything.

Yeah, the premise of the film is rather ridiculous, and it follows Hollywood formula (at least for a majority of the time), but it still ends up being a pretty entertaining film. The problem is, it could have been so much better.

Cooper is a more-than-decent leading man. He was funny in The Hangover, but here he’s a much more well-rounded character. I look forward to seeing him act in more projects.

My main issue with the film is I just kept wishing it would…go places. It certainly has a few unique ideas up its sleeve and executes them well enough, but it didn’t feel like the filmmakers exhausted all the creative possibilities. I mean, come on! NZT pretty much turns you into a superhero, but all the film does is demonstrate a few small instances of its effects. Simply put, the repercussions of using NZT are not explored in enough depth, leaving the film with a lot of untapped potential.

But what it does, it does pretty well. The film is visually unique and has the audience’s attention on that fact alone. This thing where the camera zooms super far and fast down the city streets is pretty cool. And while a little cliché, the choice to make the world more colourful when someone is on NZT works in the film’s favour.

However, one other glaring issue I had with the film is that the protagonist is not easy to sympathize with. Empathizing is easy enough, as we can see ourselves in his position. But the character is generally out for himself, and that doesn’t really change throughout the movie. He doesn’t have any higher purpose than to further himself over others. Yes, we can relate. But no, it’s not necessarily someone we want to see succeed.

Also, Robert DeNiro plays this corporate a-hole in the film and he’s decent; however, that’s not really much praise. I mean, okay, if Justin Bieber were to somehow make it into a film like this and he happened to be decent, that would be a compliment. But this is freaking Robert DeNiro — he’s not supposed to be decent!

The ending also falls a bit flat. The part that turns out to be the climax is positioned in such a manner that it feels like a precursor to the climax instead of the climax itself. While helping to make the film a bit more unpredictable (a good thing), it leaves the ending feeling pretty weak (a bad thing).

Overall, for a film called Limitless, it certainly doesn’t take its premise as far as it could have. For that reason alone, I felt a tad let down. But if you lower your expectations just a little bit, the film has its moments. same sites It shines most when it breaks away from convention and flaunts something new, such as with the pockets of dark humour scattered throughout the film. I love dark humour.

My Rating: 7/10

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About Josh Litman

Josh Litman

Director/producer/writer/actor/editor/cinematographer/musician/neuroscientist… Josh prides himself on being simultaneously awesome and modest. In addition to We Eat Films, Josh also produces his own work (films, writing) under the banner of Action Potential Productions and has his own website, too, where his handiwork can be viewed: www.actionpp.com -- or www.joshlitman.com (if you prefer).

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