|Bradley Cooper plays man who is liberated from his writer's block by a new super drug in Neil Burger's Limitless|
Limitless is one of those high-concept thrillers that I don't think has a truly satisfying resolution but is still one hell of a ride and is definitely worth seeing. Its pharmaceutical-science-fiction plot is engaging and had me intently paying attention to every decision the main character made. The worst thing that thrillers can do, is involve you with a character in a tense situation and then have them do something that you can't relate to. It's usually when a writer unintentionally sacrifices the characters likeability to move the story along. This movie avoids that pitfall during its beginning stage and carefully calculates how to put the character in an unusual situation without the audience losing interest in him and waits for the right minute to throw the guy from a dull existence in to one of excitement and danger. Very entertaining.
Bradley Cooper is a good looking guy who's pretty good at looking smart. In this flick, he is an unfocused writer, whose messy loser image feels a bit unnatural, but maybe that is because I'm not used to seeing him this way. He happens upon a test drug that somehow escaped the lab in great quantities. It allows one to utilize one-hundred-percent of their brain power. The movie uses very clever production techniques to give the viewer the perception of what the mind sees when on the drug. My first reaction when watching it was, "Holy Shit! It's Super-Adderall". Naturally the drug has what I would imagine Super-Adderall side-effects would be like, and they are the movie's most threatening conflict.
It doesn't make a lot of sense that Cooper's character waits till the film's halfway point to begin to try understanding the drug and how he can assure himself a way to safely continue a supply and a way to make it safer. If I were turned into a super-genius, that would be my first priority. I suppose if he had tried this earlier, we wouldn't have a movie filled with the entertainment of watching someone exercise the a new superpower level of intelligence for his own gratification.
This movie also has the gorgeous Abbie Cornish as Cooper's girlfriend. It is also the first decent movie for which Robert De Niro has contributed himself to in a long time.
The director is Neil Burger, who made another engaging film called The Illusionist, which also had a conclusion that felt kind of weak. He seems to be a director who insists on extreme stylization that would be distracting in most cases but tends to lend itself to the subject he's attached it to. He just needs to work with a screenwriter who knows how to end a film and he may make a masterpiece.