“ Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy - Fantasy / Suitable for 15 years and over / Director: Neil Burger / Actors: Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Abbie Cornish, Anna Friel, Andrew Howard ... / DVD released 2011-08-01 at Momentum Pictures Home Entertainment / Features of the DVD: PAL „
* Prices may differ from that shown
I enjoyed this movie and have since read the book, I found it a great thrill ride and a mirror of what we all would love, a pill that makes us limitless.
Eddie is the central character, a down on his luck writer, depressed, recently dumped by his girlfriend, a chance encounter with his ex brother in law sets him on the path to a vastly different life. His brother in law gives him a pill to get over his writers block and soon writing would be far too slow an income for the hectic life of Eddie.
I found the storyline fast, frenetic and fully entertaining, often wondering what I myself would do with such a new found gift. The character Eddie is deeply portrayed and the colour changes from a doomy grey before he takes the pill to a crisp bright set of scenes while he is on NZT.
It's an entertaining thriller that I'm sure most thrill lovers would indeed enjoy.
Released:2011, Run time:105 minutes, Genre: Sci-fi, Action, Thriller.
Film only review.
Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) is an apparently talented writer. If only his brain knew that. Faced with a looming deadline, an agitated publisher and a severe case of writers block the down and out Eddie roams the streets looking for inspiration and he finds it...in the form of NZT, a new drug that promises the world but this isn't your average drug, this drug allows you to access the entirety of your own mind, remember every detail you ever subconsciously absorbed and recall it all at the right moment. It is everything you're ever wanted in pill form and it can clear writers block like paracetamol clears a headache.
Fancy a go?
I sat down to watch this film rather reluctantly, a friend had recommended it to us and my partner had been really keen to watch it and as it was his turn to choose the film I had no choice what was on the television. I decided to do some work whilst the t.v was on in the background. I soon put the work down because this film had me interested from the opening scene.
It is one of those films where you are thrown right into the action, the opening scene is actually one of the later scenes and it's a good one. Straight away I was upright and paying attention. The film then goes back to the beginning, revealing how the character of Eddie (Bradley Cooper) got into this predicament. The film is narrated by Eddie, he is telling us his story. This film is based on a book called 'The Dark Fields' by Alan Glynn, later released as 'Limitless' and despite never having read the book I could tell that the director had wanted to keep the books influence throughout the film. There are scenes when Eddie is writing that are magical, I really enjoyed them. The way in which Eddie speaks when narrating make it seem that he is reading from the book. I am guessing that Glynn came up with the idea for this book/film whilst suffering writers block- it seemed very evident to me that Eddie is a manifestation of experiences that the author has been through.
The plot is excellent. It has taken a common idea and amped it up to Hollywood thriller level. How many times have we heard that we only use 10% of our brains- what would you do with the chance to open up your entire brains capacity- I am pretty sure I would take it even after seeing the side effects. That is the beauty of this film, it shows you the glory of having everything you want as well as the downsides, it explores addiction, dependency and desperation. There were scenes I found moving, scenes I found funny and scenes that I found 'trippy' and a little odd. It is shot wonderfully. The film explored all aspects of drug dependency and the dangers of having all that we could wish for but it wasn't just an emotional tale warning you about drugs. It had action too, car chases, bad guys, thieves, murderers and stock brokers!
Bradley Cooper plays a good part, he is less believable as the down on his luck writer but comes into his own as a playboy billionaire. He oozes charisma. Abbie Cornish as Eddie's long suffering, on/off girlfriend is also good, portraying an almost dual personality. My opinions about her character changed throughout the film. A sign of a good performance I think. My opinion on Robert De Niro's performance as Carl Van Loon also altered throughout the film, I liked Van Loon as a character (although, I hate the name, sounds far too cheesy) I wasn't a hundred percent convinced that De Niro was the right guy to play him, he came across as a bit soft to me. Andrew Howard, someone I didn't recognise but have apparently seen him in things, was particularly menacing. I liked his portrayal of Gennady.
As I previously mentioned this film was shot wonderfully. The setting is believable, the scenes, though 'trippy' are in keeping with the theme of the film and the characters are well drawn. Some may argue that the action is a little far far fetched but I was whizzing along with the characters and so I found every moment to be important. The soundtrack to this film, whilst enjoyable and relevant wasn't something I would go out and buy but that is due to personal preference not because it's rubbish.
Overall it was a good film. It was thrilling. The pace was perfect and whilst some montages/trips went on a little too long the action more than made up for that. It appears to have elements of all genres it in from a love story to action to psychological thriller to science fiction.
I saw this film in the cinema when it first came out and was absolutely mesmerised. The fast pace and continuous action had me guessing where it was going and what the end result would be. I loved every minute of it and so recently bought it on DVD to watch again.
The film is actually loosely based on a book called 'The Dark Fields' by Alan Glynn which was published in 2001. Ten years later the film Limitless was released. From what I can see by reading the plot of the book the film takes the basic premise of the novel and extends it to create this feature length film.
The basic idea behind the film is that an intelligence boosting drug, NZT-48, has been produced. It is meant to unlock the parts of your brain that most humans don't or aren't able to access. The main character is Eddie (Bradley Cooper) who is a struggling writer who has just been dumped by his girlfriend. He is basically a bit of a deadbeat with potential. He is clearly very intelligent and has the potential for a great book in him, or so his publishers believe, but he has spent his advance and can't seem to write a word. That is until his ex brother-in-law offers him this mind enhancing drug and unlocks his ability to write, and to do many other things.
Eddie writes his novel in a night, and of course it is amazing. His brain is able to make connections to every experience he has had and every little thing he has read or seen. His intelligence sky rockets and so does his appeal and charisma. But he only has enough of the drug for one dose so the next morning he visits his ex brother-in-law in order to procure more of the magic drug. In some unknown altercation the man has been shot and Eddie makes an anonymous call to the police. In the time before they arrive he searches frantically for the drug and finding it in the oven he makes his escape with drug in tow.
Eddie begins to take the drug regularly and finds his life begins to change almost completely. He is suddenly able to seduce women at the click of his fingers, he can learn a language in less than a day, he remembers every small experience he has and his brain can make connections in way he has never experienced before. He is able to make money from the stock market and finds himself getting a job in finance and is heralded is some kind of genius. He is recruited by powerful business man Carl Van Loon (Robert De Niro) and begins to get in way over his head. In order to make his fortune though he has borrowed money from a questionable source and when this man takes one of Eddie's pills he is determined to have his share.
As Eddie gets in deeper and deeper and realises that his dependency on the drug is increasing his life begins to unravel. He is in imminent danger from getting in with the wrong people and slowing his world is closing in on him. I won't spoil the ending for you but needless to say it keeps you guessing right up to the last minute.
I think the cast in this film is really great and the plot is electric. I found myself constantly second guessing what was going to happen and there was definitely a tense and excited feeling in the cinema. The film is also darkly humorous and has many funny moments throughout. It is really fast paced and as a viewer you definitely wait in anticipation for the next twist and turn in the film. Bradley Cooper is just the right amount of sexy to be believable as this down and out writer to financial whizz. I have seen him in other things but nothing matches his performances in this which is full of character and charisma.
This film cost me about £8 from HMV which is pretty good for a new release. I really enjoyed watching this in the cinema and at home the second time, I think it's a great and probably underrated film. My only slight quibble would be the length which I think could be cut down just a touch. It is 105 minutes which makes it almost 2 hours long. I prefer a film to hit just under the hour and a half mark, anything longer feels unnecessarily drawn out for me.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this fast paced and electric film.
After someone in work raved about how good this film was, I decided to put it on my LoveFilm rental list, and was excited about seeing it.
Limitless was released in 2011, and was based on the 2001 Alan Glynn novel The Dark Fields. It was directed by Neil Burger, and the screenplay is by Leslie Dixon. It stars Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Anna Friel and Abbie Cornish.
The film is about Eddie Morra (Cooper), a down on his luck writer. He has a book deal, but has yet to write a single word. His apartment is a dump and his girlfriend has just broken up with him. He randomly runs into his ex-wife's drug-dealing brother, who gives him a new pill named NZT-48. The pill is said to allow you to use all 100% of your brain, as opposed to just 20% (which I have since read is a myth anyway!)
At first, the drug works wonders. Eddie finishes his book, cleans up his act, gets back together with his girlfriend, and completely turns his life around. After borrowing money from the Russian Mafia, he starts trading in stocks, making $2m in a matter of days, and gets involved with an important businessman named Van Loon (De Niro).
I really enjoyed this first half of the movie - the fact that his life was real, but yet artificial, reminded me slightly of Vanilla Sky, which is a movie I really like. I don't think Bradley Cooper really set the screen alight, but he's solid enough. However rather than being pleased that his life was going so well, I found him completely smug and a little bit annoying. Maybe I was just in a crotchety mood.
Inevitably, things begin to go wrong in the story (and, in my opinion, with the film). Eddie discovers that past users of the drug have either become ill or died, and indeed he starts getting headaches and taking black-outs, culminating in him being accused of a rather heinous crime which apparently occurred during 18 hours of his life that he can't account for. I won't say what the crime is, but at the end it really bothered me that this aspect of the story seemed to be completely forgotten about; from Eddie's point of view at least.
Along with the health problems, not to mention the fact that his stash of the drug is running out fast, Eddie is pursued by the Russian Mafia, who want both their money and more pills. Because of this, I felt that the second half of the film descended into a rather average action thriller, with guns, knives and violence. Towards the end I didn't care whether the Russians got Eddie or not, I just wanted the film to end.
At the end of the film, we see where Eddie's life is, 12 months after taking the drug. Personally I found it completely unbelievable (in the context of an already unbelievable film), and felt rather unsatisfied when it finished.
It goes without saying that Robert De Niro has done infinitely better films than this in the past. His role as a businessman could have been played by anyone, and there was nothing about his performance that stood out for me.
I would have enjoyed this film a lot more if there had been more about how the drug changed Eddie's life, and less generic action-thriller scenes.
I wouldn't watch this again myself, but I wouldn't dissuade anyone from watching it. It passed a couple of hours, at the end of the day. I won't be trusting people in work to recommend movies in the future - to be honest I should never have listened to someone who finds Mrs Brown's Boys hilarious anyway.
Eddie (Bradley Cooper) is a down-on-his-luck writer. His whole life has seen him slip lower and lower. Now he is almost out on the street and despite receiving an advance for a new book cannot begin to write the first sentence. A divorcee, his latest relationship is about to hit the rocks too. He has become a sponger to all those around him. Then, by chance, he meets up with his ex-wife's brother - a former drug dealer. It looks like he has cleaned up his act and is now working for a major pharmaceutical company. He offers Eddie a new untested drug that enables a human to access 100% of their brain instead of the usual 10-20%. Eddie takes the pill and his whole life is suddenly transformed. However, there is a catch. The Russian Mafia are after the drug and Eddie soon discovers that there are serious side effects...
If anyone reading this review has also read "50 Myths of Popular Psychology" or any other sober exploration of common tall stories about the mind, you will have already noticed that the entire story of "Limitless" is based on an utter fallacy. The human brain does not use 10-20% of its capacity. This concept makes no sense whatsoever, but one of those things that wishful thinkers accept without first thinking. Bad science goes hand-in-hand with Hollywood, so I shouldn't be too harsh. Just about every science fiction film I love requires massive titanium reinforced suspensions of disbelief to enjoy. However, the trick is to build that suspension in the first place. It can take the form of blatantly saying accept this fantastical world, as in "Star Wars" or "The Matrix", or it can be wry wink to the audience before matters get under way. The problem with "Limitless" is, a la Oliver Stone's "JFK", you get the impression that the author Alan Glyn, who wrote novel "Dark Fields" on which the film is based, as well as director Neil Burger and screenplay writer Leslie Dixon actually believe the nonsense. The film's whole "understanding" of neuroscience seems to reflect no honest attempt to create a credible idea and goes onto commit other pseudo-scientific mistakes like thinking of memory as a type of video recording device.
Having said that, this ignorance does have a charm of Ed Wood proportions and the first act is actually the most enjoyable. When we see Eddie rise from being a deadbeat spiralling towards oblivion suddenly get a chance to turn his life around, it's quite engaging. There is a great comparison between his plight and the He's a likeable character and Bradley Cooper does a good job. The rest of the cast are less likeable. In fact, there really isn't a single sympathetic character and you tend to be rooting for Eddie throughout. Unfortunately this doesn't really work because when the real thriller elements kick in, we've seen it all before. The action is pretty sub-standard. It fails to deliver the edge-of-seat thrills which it aspires to and doesn't have any good action set pieces to fall back on. This is a major flaw as despite its pseudo-scientific premise, it's really a thriller at its heart.
Robert De Niro's position is as a glorified cameo. He really does no more than his "and Robert De Niro" opening credit implies. It's been a sad decline for this top-line actor. He will be remembered as one of the greatest to grace the silver screen, but much like his obvious predecessor, Marlon Brando, the latter stages of his career seems mired in mediocrity. It's not like he doesn't pick up some good projects, but these are often overlooked and under-rated due to the large number of "cheque-please" jobs he has taken on. This is one of these jobs. Credit should be given that he doesn't play the role of the villain like the persona that is usually associated with De Niro. He isn't the menacing Godfather or cold psychopath, but the alternative is a rather pathetic (he is doing "weak" a lot lately) greedy man of ambition, and it does little to enhance the picture. Anna Friel is only worth mentioning because she does do the type of role she has become tediously connected with - the love interest (or former love interest in this instance) with bad Americanisms.
I do not place the blame for the flaws of "Limitless" on the director. Neil Burger shows a lot of competence for handling drama during the first 20 minutes. Unfortunately it is the thriller aspects, key to the plot, that let it all down. If you want to see a good piece of nonsense centring around the popping of a pill - one that never takes itself too seriously, but can still handle the action - then I would advise you rent "51st State".
"Limitless" is a 2011 thriller directed by Neil Burger and stars Bradley Cooper, Robert DeNiro and Anna Friel.
Edward "eddie" Morra ( Bradley Cooper ) is a bright but unmotivated playwright living in New York City, he has just recently been dumped by his girlfriend Lindy ( Abbie Cornish ) and also is about to fail the deadline to turn in his new book.
One day Eddie comes across Vernon Grant ( Johnny Whitworth ) who is his ex Brother-in-law, Vernon is a drug dealer and while Eddie always knew him as a bit of a dirtbag, he seems to be quite successful now, Vernon offers Eddie a new drug he is carrying called NZT-48, claiming its been tested by the FDA and will allow a human to access 100% of their brain power, Eddie is sceptical and takes the drug with him but doesn't take it.
Eventually Eddie realises he is going to need help and ingests the drug, which send him into a mamic productive state, he manages to complete 90 pages of his manuscript overnight and turns it into his publisher.
Eddie goes to see Vernon to ask for more of the drug, and when Vernon answers the door to his apartment its clear he has recently been assaulted, Vernon tells Eddie to go and pick up his dry cleaning, however when Eddie returns he discovers Vernon has been shot and killed and his apartment has been ransacked, yet Eddie discovers Vernon's stash of the drugs and take them.
Very soon Eddie takes the drug on a regular basis and his life turns around, he eventually attracts the attention of Wall Street businessman Carl Van Loon ( Robert DeNiro ) who enlists Eddie to help him with an upcoming large merger, however strange things are beginning to happen to Eddie and the drug may not be perfect, also Eddie has to cope with a growing number of people who may want to see him dead so they can get their hands on his supply.
I had high hopes for Limitless when i popped it into the DVD player, I like Bradley Cooper and think he is suited to being a Hollywood leading man, initially the movie starts out well, with a "fairly" plausible premise, and one thing you notice very soon after it begins is that its uniquely shot and quite stylish, being a thriller and its main requirement are "thrills" it does cause the plot to suffer in parts but not as bad as some in this genre i've seen recently.
The cast do largely a good job, however I do think that Robert DeNiro was miscast in this role, as i just dont buy him being a suave Wall Street businessman, hes just too gruff for that, at best i could picture him being a business owner of a chain of Subway restaurants !!!
The biggest thing Limitless has going for it is the stylish delivery of the plot, the storyline chugs along well enough and there are some decent plot twists that arent expected, however there are also some predictable plot elements as well.
If you're looking for a thriller that will entertain for around 105 minutes then you probably cant go wrong with Limitless, however if you're looking for something a little more deep and meaningful you may want to look elsewhere !!!!
THIS IS A FILM ONLY REVIEW
The film starts out with the life of a write, who basically looks like a homeless guy, he does not take care of himself and can not seem to get any books wrote. With the threat of eviction and his publishers on his back he knows he has to do something soon. He bumps into his ex wife's brother on the street one day and they go for a drink.
The brother in law eventually offers him to try this pill, that he says will be on the market by the end of the year, he debates over having this pill but eventually realises that in order to try and do things he needs this. So he takes the pill, which he has been told enhances the brain and allow you to use more of it. After taking this pill he really gets motivated and becomes across really intelligent and he knows things he would not have normally have known. He writes a full book in 4 days, and ends up going into stocks and shares and with his new found intelligence makes a company a small fortune. In a few days he has gone from a lowlife, to a man of the world who can do anything.
The tablet does only last for one day so he gets a large stash off his brother in law, which I will not disclose how due to it ruining the story. But he does get a large supply. Unknown to him through the tablets do come with some pretty bad side effects, and can even lead to death, he realises that his brother in law lied to him about them being marketed drugs.
He is also being chased after by a man who will kill anyone who gets in his way, but no one knows what he is after until near the end of the film, so you will need to watch the film to find out why.
Bradley Cooper who plays Eddie is the main person in this film, he is the one who is on the tablets and the whole story is based around him. He plays the character really well, and he does act it out brilliantly.
Robert De Niro who plays carl, who is trying to get Eddie in to work for him, he does only make a few appearances throughout the film, but he plays a menacing character, and he also plays his part well.
Anna Friel who plays the ex wife Melissa also only plays a very small part in the film, and does only appear once, but she does make her presence known throughout the film, she does play her little part well.
My overall opinion
This film was really good to watch, when it first started out I thought it was going to be a little bit boring, but the film became really good, and I really enjoyed watching it. The film had you wondering about things all through the film, why did certain things happen, why was he being followed. I like films that make you wonder about things rather than just sitting and watching it. Its not a film I would watch a second time, as once you watch it you know everything about it, but I would recommend it for at least one watch. It has good acting and a good storyline, what more do you need in a film.
When the trailer for Limitless appeared in the cinemas I did want to see it but as with everything but the time you get round to seeing a film at the cinema, its gone. So I had to wait for the DVD release but seeing the Blu Ray on sale earlier in the year, for only £6.99, I decided to add to my small Blu Ray collection by purchasing it. In all I enjoyed the film, it gripped me to the end but was very shallow in parts and one or two bits take away from the whole effect.
If you have not heard the premise of this film, released in 2011, its very simple....a down and out writer who has a failed marriage behind him and has been dumped by his current girlfriend is struggling to write a book he has been given an advance to write. He is drinking a lot, letting himself go and generally holding onto life by the scruff of his neck. The very dodgy, drug dealing boyfriend of his ex wife see's him, offers him a drug to expand his mind and he takes it. Suddenly the book is coming along, he is recalling everything he has read and his mind power has grown. The role in question is played well by Bradley Cooper. He has a lot of good material to deal with and some actors when dealing with drug addiction fall into the trap of bad stereotyping but Cooper does very well and I enjoyed his performance.
Robert De Niro plays a key role in the film and is as stellar as always playing a big company boss who uses Coopers new brain power for advice on a merger. Cooper is off the rails at the times and De Niro does well to counter act this. He does not get a great deal of screen time but acts everyone else off screen when he does. De Niro has "phoned in" a lot of performances as of late but this certainly is something he clearly was interested in.
Also in the mix is a Russia mobster who is chasing Cooper for debt and then when he takes one of Coopers pills he chases him for more. This leads to an action packed end and there is one moment where Cooper does something involving blood I don't want to mention but for me it took the edge off the whole situation.
In all I found the film to be very watchable and it did hold my full attention throughout. It was paced well and got into the main plot straight away without too much dilly dallying but the writers/director seem to have done little with a very good idea. A few of the sub plots go unresolved and the ending seems to be tagged on just for the sake of it. No major twists, no shocks...just a fizzled out ending with a bit of action.
I would suggest this is a good movie to watch for anyone and although everyone involved has done better its still a good piece of well directed, well shot and well acted work!
The extras are not great just a little few documentaries and a boring commentary.
Also on CIAO
If I'm honest usually I wouldn't have picked up and bought this film to watch. Modern -, at times pretencious and heavily reliant on special effects- films are not exactly my cup of tea and to my suprise when I finished watching Limitless after having been given it as a gift for Christmas I did come to the conclusion that it was a pretty decent film. The transition Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) from a free-lance writer come slob to an efficient charming money making machine makes for an interesting plot and is played effortlessly by Bradley Cooper with the right balance of sincerity and arrogance the role demands. As well as this, the huge names involved in the production don't dominate the storyline and instead compliment it. When I first heard that Robert De Niro was in the film again, I wasn't so sure, but he plays the role of a conniving business entrepreneur extremely well and kept me watching when my interest began to fade. As I expected there were some digitally enhanced elements, such as simple changes like the eye colour of a user of the NZT drug, to highlight their super awareness after taking it, but this didn't take away from the film and soon I became accustomed to it. Overall, a good film with a pretty decent plot, I did enjoy it, but maybe not my favourite of all time
Despite the ending meant to show the truly great effects NZT can have and how fast it can improve things for the user, I did find it a bit ridiculous that an author come stock investor would suddenly have ambitions of Presidency despite his young age and total inexperience in politics, but I guess that was the point - he was aiming high. I'm not sure if it would bother everyone but it was just a little bit too farfetched for this viewer..
~ The Plot with opinion ~
Eddie is a struggling writer on the brink of eviction and being dropped by his publisher, in desperate need of a burst of inspiration. His unmotivated attitude and slob-bish lifestyle force his girlfriend, Lindy (Abbie Cornish) to give up on him, missing the man he once was. Randomly, he runs into an old friend (Johnny Whitworth), his ex-wife's brother to be precise, who offers him a new chance at life, a chance to be limitless. This chance comes in the form of a new untested pill NZT, a pill that dramatically increases brain function and heightens the IQ of the user. Eddie accepts and much to his surprise the pill does in fact work and gives him 100% brain capacity as opposed to the usual 20%, helping him to turn in his book on time and to begin to sort out his life.
With a few twists and turns, where Eddie is indicated in murder and subsequently let off after a dodgy lineup, he realises his lawyer has taken his few remaining pills and he is left to deal with the angry mob boss Gennady, who having discovered NZT wants more. When the vicious mafia shark and his cronies burst into the million dollar fortress pad Eddie has purchased, he is forced to stab him and attempts to drink his blood to revitalise himself with Gellady's recently injected NZT that is cursing through his veins.
A year passes and Eddie's success continues, with his drug addiction lessened and eventually stopped with the help of the lab he is funding. He is approached by a former ruthless ally eager to exploit the ever-ambitious Eddie who has plans for running for Presidency after achieving the status of Secretary of State, however Eddie informs him that he has already foreseen this inevitability and has weaned himself off of NZT with the help of the lab's refinements.
The movie ends with a dinner between Lindy and Eddie who have renewed their relationship, and Eddie brags about his continued limitlessness by ordering in Japanese to the waiter. I found the ending to be somewhat lacking as despite understanding what happens is supposed to be a wink at the audience, and the fact he is reunited with Lindy is supposedly good, I actually was disappointed that they didn't explain what suddenly caused her to accept his addiction, and because of that it made little sense to me. Perhaps it was because he had managed to overcome his addiction, but for me personally I didn't enjoy the ending, but that didn't make me enjoy the rest of the film any less.
~ Cast ~
* Bradley Cooper as Edward (Eddie) Morra
* Robert De Niro as Carl Van Loon
* Abbie Cornish as Lindy
* Anna Friel as Melissa Gant
* Johnny Whitworth as Vernon Gant
* Andrew Howard as Gennady
~ Conclusion ~
This film is worth a watch, with fast-paced moving action and an evolving plot line, there's little wrong with it.
Co-Star - Robert De Niro
Genre - Thriller
Run-Time 105 minutes
Country - USA
Cert - 15
Amazon Rental - £ 2.99 rental per night.
Based on the book 'Dark Fields' by Alan Glynn, Limitless is the latest movie with echo's of Inception to hit the big screen this year, that particular blockbuster no doubt the reason why this one got made and released so quickly, having the feel of a film treatment that has been sitting on the shelf for quite a while. In keeping with Inception a mind altering state of consciousness is at the heart of the narrative and every opportunity is taken by director Neil Burger (The Illusionist) to deploy those snazzy special effects that made Inception and the likes of The Adjustment Bureau look so good, but, perhaps, that more of an exercise to distract from the fact the plot isn't all that and the script somewhat uneven.
This is the latest movie to employ the fading star that is Robert De Niro, a man who has no shame on taking pretty much any part these days. It's hard to believe he has fallen so far and would have been out cold if he hadn't of landed on Eddie Murphy to break his fall. Perhaps he only ever was an Italian America actor who could play himself, all his best performances hidden way back in the 1990s now.
Bradley Cooper ... Eddie Morra
Robert De Niro ... Carl Van Loon
Abbie Cornish ... Lindy
Andrew Howard ... Gennady
Anna Friel ... Melissa
Johnny Whitworth ... Vernon
Struggling writer Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) lives in Manhattan and has secured a book deal with an advance but, as yet, no book. Unshaven and smelly his writers block and slacker lifestyle has got to his girlfriend, Lindy (Abbie Cornish) dumping him after lending him one too many missed rent cheques.
Eddie is about to be inspired big time when he bumps into his brother-n-law Vernon (Johnny Whitworth), who works for a big pharmaceutical company. Vernon gives him some experimental pills called NZT to stimulate his brain into helping him write his book. But the pills are far more than that, boosting his ego and I.Q massively, all manner of things racing though his brain soon after he pops one. With a quarter of the book done that very afternoon he has to find Vernon for some more of the addictive wonder drug. But he is too late, Vernon dead in his apartment, Eddie composing himself and stealing the pills before calling the cops, obviously other people in need of the same fix.
With plenty of the drug to hand the book is soon finished and Eddie on the up, the tome at the publishers inside three days. Now its time to play the money markets with is new found hyper intelligence, borrowing big money from a Russia gangster perhaps not the best idea. And he is soon winning on the markets, fairly immediate wealth and status attracting this girlfriend back for reconciliation now he is a success.
Another person attracted to him is Wall Street legend Carl Van Loon (Robert De Niro), who wants to recruit Eddie to make yet more millions with his available capital. But he is unsure of Eddie's method to beat the markets and so keeps his powder dry in their relationship, Eddies most pressing concern right now that his addiction is out of control and he is not only losing track of the time and place but running out of NZT, and after a long night on the tiles where Eddie may or may not have killed a girl in his mind bending state the police are firmly on his tail as it all begins to unravel.
Although a slow starter once we get the lazy cliché middle - class white boy struggling writer in the big city out of the way the drug is taken and the film races forward in a suitably trippy and visual way for you to want to get involved. Bradley Coopers unimpressive lead performance is a problem though, an actor who sounds like a military vehicle and acts like one, the films weakest link. The idea of the drug premise is good enough though and the film as busy as the script is jumpy.
It's a cross between Brett Easton's America Psycho and Wall Street in style and has dry humor to flaunt as well as decent but patchy dialogue. It really is all about the visual though and I do feel the director tries to hard with the drug metaphor on that throughout the film. De Niro does his thing and all very fine in the battle of wits with Coppers character that adds the intellect towards the end of the film as they set up the big twist that is not as obvious as it could be, although what De Niro must feel playing second fiddle to a pretty boy mannequin like Cooper we will never know. Sadly Bradley's talent is not limitless. What Anna Freil was doing in this and why her character was even written in is beyond me. She seemed to be there just to say drugs are bad. Its cost $18 million to make and did an amazing $161 million back, the Inception factor filling the multiplexes and so more of this to come. It's worth a rent though but not suitable for younger kids as it is quite adult at times. It also drags on a bit ad doesn't know when to end.
Movie Scene -"Despite some snazzy camera angles and showoff-y technique, Limitless dashes any hopes of originality when it ends up being nothing more than a cautionary tale about drug addiction"
Melbourne Age - "Dubious values and undercooked philosophy aside, Limitless is an engaging and often good-humored trip that moves at quite a lick and benefits from being directed with some flair".
The LA Times -" a humdinger of a science fiction thriller that scoots easily from shaggy-dog fable to noir mystery to conspiracy thriller and winds up on the dark side of Twilight Zone.
CNN -"Moves so fast you don't have time to think"
The Guardian - "Bradley Cooper is his usual innocuous but personality-free, walking wallpaper self and hence not up to the challenge"
Imdb.com - 7.0/10 (95,495 votes)
Metacritic.com - 59% critics approval rating
Rottentomatos.com - 69% critics approval rating
-A Man without Limits-
Cast & crew talk about the idea ad the film
-Taking it to the limit: The Making of Limitless-
Director Berg waffles on and the special effects guy have their say
Not that different from the one in the film
I was originally attracted to this film simply because I love the idea of somebody being able to access 100% of their brain capability (although in this case, by taking a pill called NZT). Another attraction for me is that I saw that it has Robert De Niro in it (one of my favourite actors), so I was looking forward to watching the film.
In my opinion the plot of the film is a little far fetched (the idea that somebody could go from being a down and out writer to a successful stockbroker in little over two months is a little unrealistic). However, I feel that this is the films major strength, it is pure escapism (sometimes it's nice to escape into something that takes you away from the day to day drudgery). I have to say that I found the plot to be very engaging (I wanted to know how it was going to end), as the more successful the main character (Eddie Morra - played by Bradley Cooper) became, the more problems seemed to come his way (Russian mafia, side effects of the drug etc). Indeed, although the plot has a very simple premise (an underachiever takes pills to become an overachiever), the twists and turns in the storyline keep you guessing (he loses the pills, chased by Russian mafia, feels side effects of drugs which means he finds himself skipping time).
In my opinion, the choice of casting for the film is excellent (Bradley Cooper is excellent as the main protaganist), the characters are believeable (as an example the man that played the Russian mafia boss is a Welsh actor! - I promise you won't be able to tell). Similarly, locations have been perfectly scouted, matching the story (New York, Mexico etc), helping scenes flow efforlessly, nothing is out of place. Similarly, I feel that with a Hollywood heavyweight on board (De Niro) it only adds to the positive feel about the cast.
Limitless is quite a short film, running for approximately 90 minutes. Although short films can sometimes leave you feeling a little short changed, I can promise you that this isn't the case with Limitless (the film crams so much in, that you really do get your moneys worth). Simply because there is so much to take in, I feel that Limitless has quite a good replay value (as i said before it took me a few replays to quite grasp some of what was going on).
In conclusion, I am very impressed by this film. It is short,but action packed (so won't leave you feeling short changed, (can't really comment on the dvd, but you can pick it up for £10). Similarly, although the film can seem a little confusing (a lot of different twists and turns in the story), it really is engaging - (my friend who normally hates action films watched it with me and found herself fully engrossed!). The only real negative that I can put across is that it is a little far fetched (although as i said before, this can be a positive as well as a negative).
I picked this DVD up from Blockbuster last week and was quite interested in watching it, not just because of the cast but because the plot sounded intriguing. I'm glad I watched it because it was easy enough to get absorbed in and it delivered on its promise to be quite interesting.
Limitless fits the action-thriller genre but with a fairly intelligent premise, despite the film not really being 'complex'. We're introduced to Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper, The Hangover), a struggling writer who has just lost his girlfriend, Lindy (played by Abbie Cornish) and seems to be heading nowhere in life. It's a sad state of affairs but believable, and Cooper pulls off the unshaven and unsuccessful look well for it to be believable.
We can therefore understand why he takes the opportunity given to him when a friend offers him NZT; a small clear pill that's designed to make any consumer more effective. Obviously, I'd be a little dubious of taking such a designer pharmaceutical that I'd never heard of before, that hasn't been released and seems to have no medical backing. Alas, his situation is desperate and he doesn't much care.
What he wasn't expecting was for it to work and transform his life completely. After taking the pill every sense is heightened, his brain is more organised, his memory is extraordinary. Remembering things he's read or heard from years ago and being able to blurt out information in a fraction of a second, Morra's intellect, motivation and responses become super efficient.
Boosted and high on this new experience, Morra writes like he's never written before and starts new ventures that lead him to a more successful life. I won't give too much away, apart from to say that Carl Van Loon (played by Robert De Niro), takes interest in Morra's ability. As a business extraordinaire, he enlists Morra and soon enough he's 'top dog' in the financial circles. However, what goes up has to come down, and the pill comes with a high price.
We are given a general premise of the pill in that it's primarily designed to enable people to use 100% of their mind. Considering we apparently use so little at any one time, this is obviously a huge leap in biological technology and has the potential to be earth shattering. Whilst I liked the concept, I wasn't entirely convinced about the ability of the pill or that of using 100% of your brain. However, I'll sidestep the technical details because I'm not a scientist and it doesn't really matter anyway because it was still believable enough not to question the premise too much.
The cast was strong, with Cooper playing the protagonist in a way that made you relate to him and want to be him, at least at first. I loved the thought of having such intelligence, memory and responses, and like I said, it makes an interesting storyline. De Niro was business-like in his role as expected. There was also an appearance by Anna Friel, playing Eddie's ex Melissa.
What I also really liked was the overall feel to the film. The way it was cast & directed, the music, the scenes, the lighting, the camera effects. Each aspect made the film feel dynamic, alive, modern, energetic and of a good quality. The only downside for me I guess would be the lack of detail on the pill itself (but that's probably because of taking a Psychology degree).
Overall, this is one I'd recommend. It offers something a little different whilst being interesting yet easy to watch.
Selling on Amazon for £10
Rated certificate 15, released August 2011