It seems Bradley Cooper can do no wrong when it comes to movies, the one time Alias star has gone from strength to strength over the last three years and moved from being a supporting character, to charming leading man. In Limitless, Cooper again proves he is the man of the hour, and puts more into the movie than just his performance as he takes an executive producer role as well.
Eddie Morra (Cooper) is the epitome of the term loser, a failed writer who is suffering a terrible bout of writers block. Over a period of time he has gone downhill, he smells, has little care over his appearance. When things already look pretty bad his girlfriend Lindy (Abbie Cornish) walks out on him. He accepts and understands her decision, even though he doesn’t like it. At the moment things look at their darkest he runs into an old acquaintance who offers him the answer to his problems, a pill that makes all of your brain alert. Initially sceptical, but of the mindset of “what’s the worst that can happen?” He takes the pill. Having wangled himself out of a situation with his landlord’s wife, and charming her into bed, he heads for his rundown apartment and transforms it. Next he completes a massive percentage of a book, much to his publishers delight. The following day however the effects have worn off, and he is back to his usual self. Seeking out his old friend for more of the tablets, he soon finds himself on the receiving end of a dead body. Taking the remainder of the tablets from the dead mans flat, Eddie transforms his life, but others want the pills.
Limitless is an incredibly pleasing movie; it has a nice story, a blend of humour and action; most importantly its one of those movies that you never really know where it will end up.
There are so many story strands to Limitless that make it an incredibly compelling view. Eddie plays Wall Street, charms bankers, makes impressions, and possibly as a side effect of the tablets commits murder, while losing vast periods of time, in a strange void.
As well as making Eddie more alert, they also increase his intelligence; he is able to learn languages and musical instruments fluently, within a few days or hours, as well as being able to tell things about people by their appearance.
Effects play a big part of the movie, from the taking of the pill to the effects it causes. At the start when Eddie first takes the pill you feel this the most, as you see a visual interpretation of what he sees. When he writes you see numbers fall from the sky and forms words to symbolise the return of his ability to write. When he takes a pill you see him divide into numerous characters to signify the increased productivity that the tablet causes, this pill taking also causes a very striking flood of colour that shows Eddie literally light up.
As the story develops, you see new traits occurring, Eddies study of people and their behaviour allows him to some degree predict the future, he can certainly recall enough aspects from the past to keep him out of a fight.
There are some great supporting roles, Abbie Cornish whose career was launched of the cult Australian movie Somersault, is almost unrecognisable since her Americanisation, her performance as solid as ever however. Robert De Niro takes on a crucial role, and delivers one of his better performances for some considerable time. Meanwhile Welsh actor Andrew Howard gives a blinding performance as a Russian mobster.
Limitless has received a little criticism, a fact I personally find difficult to accept. Much happens in the movie, and there is a lot of scope for where the story could go. When the movie draws to a close you feel almost as if it’s only just begun. There is also a hell of a lot constantly going on, you don’t ever feel like something is there to fill a void. There are some annoying factors especially when Melissa (Anna Friel) Eddies ex wife turns up giving Eddie a very stark warning about the drug he has taken, that would send any normal person running in the opposite direction. The flaws are outweighed by the positives, at least in my view.