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Movie review: Limitless starring Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro

Review of Limitless
Limitless is a new science-fiction, action type film that makes you question what you would do if you could access 100% of your brain’s functionality. Starring The Hangover’s Bradley Cooper and film icon Robert De Niro, it is based on the novel The Dark Fields by Alan Glynn.

Eddie Morra (Cooper) is a struggling writer. His life is going nowhere, his relationship with girlfriend Lindy (Abbie Cornish), is coming to an end. He can’t seem to focus on writing anything for his new book.

When walking down the streets of New York, Eddie runs into an ex-brother in law who introduces him to a pill. Not just any pill, but a wonder pill that can open your mind and make you almost super human. Of course Eddie doesn’t believe him, but takes a sample anyways. With nothing to lose he takes the pill and a brand new world is born. He can remember any piece of information he’s ever read or heard. He’s great at math and dealing with people and finally is focused and ready to have the life he’s always dreamed of.

He finishes his book in a matter of days and soon becomes the hottest thing on Wall Street after borrowing money from an unwise source (a Russian gangster). His life is nothing but money, world travel, women and parties. But soon people start trying to figure out where this new guy came from and what his secret is. And the wonder pill has side effects.

Now being chased by the Russian gangster who wants the pills for himself, uncontrollable headaches and blackouts and add in a mystery man who won’t stop following him, Eddie thinks he can stay 10 steps ahead of everyone. People seem to be on to him and he can’t remember what he did or where he’s been for a good length of time. His walls seem to be closing in on him, but with his pills, he believes he can outsmart anyone.

Can Eddie fix his relationship? Can he stay on top of the stock market game? Can he outsmart the Russians? Who is the mystery man and just how far can he go in life with all his potential?

The trailers for Limitless make it seem like an action packed, fast paced, full throttle flick. It starts out that way. It starts out pretty funny too. But all the action you see in the TV commercials is pretty much all the action you see in the movie. It starts out strong, but forgets to take its own pill and slows down almost to a crawl. If you noticed Robert De Niro’s name isn’t mentioned in the recap, there’s a good reason for it, he’s completely unnecessary in the film. Again the trailers make it seem like he’s Cooper’s enemy, but he’s really not. Sure the character makes sense in the movie, but why a big name like Bobby D is in it, doesn’t make a lot of sense. He’s good in it, but someone like him really isn’t necessary.

Bradley Cooper is good in Limitless with what he is given. He is very believable as a down on his luck guy turned overnight success. Abbie Cornish is good in it, but the movie itself just doesn’t seem to meet expectations. The concept of the film is very good, almost Philip K. Dick type material, but the resulting film is disappointing. The idea of a pill that can open one’s mind and where you could go with it is very intriguing, but the film just doesn’t capture it. A strong beginning built up more expectations, but it struggled to find itself and where it ultimately wanted to go. The action based pacing slows down to an almost predictable outcome and viewers are left with a lot of questions.

With not enough answers, too many unnecessary characters and sub-plots, Limitless has its own limitations. What should be a very good, mixed genre film doesn’t live up to expectations. Re-tooled and more focused, the film could be a very good film, almost a Summer blockbuster, but as it is, it’s ok which is disappointing for all the talent involved. It will do well at the box office, but don't expect to be blown away by it.
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