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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The concept of Limitless is fantastic - what would happen if you could
take a pill (NZT) that would allow you to use 100% of your brain
(instead of the standard 20%) and function on a level higher than you
have ever functioned before? The possibilities for such a movie idea
are well, limitless - pun intended - but unfortunately, despite some
great acting, especially by Bradley Cooper, who plays Eddie Morra - the
lead whose life the movie follows throughout it's duration, the film
just could not overcome some major plot holes, sloppy writing and
LOTS OF SPOILERS...
Many times throughout the film, the script uses PLOT driven storyline instead of CHARACTER driven storyline in order to go from Point A to Point B which the script called for & in the process, didn't make much sense given who the characters were in the picture. Some examples:
1) The movie needed for Eddie to find the NZT stash & money in his Brother in Law's apartment, steal it, get away with it and then take the pill, feel the effects, and use the money to regain his life. Problem? It's absolutely ridiculous to imply that the cops wouldn't have searched him or at the very least patted him down after calling in a murder & going down to the station for questioning. Of course, the huge wad of cash/pills he shoved down the back of his pants would have been found had they searched him so it didn't happen. It's illogical and absolutely ridiculous that he would be able to steal what he did from the apartment, an apartment that he locked himself in when the police initially arrived - and have no issues.
2) The movie needed for the Russian thug to come after Eddie in order to find the NZT, take it and then make trouble for him the entire movie. Problem? It's not believable that super smart Eddie wouldn't remember to pay back the 100k that he borrowed especially when the money was constantly on his mind and he had just made 2 million off of what he borrowed. This is clear cut plot driven over character driven storyline because it's ridiculous for Eddie, the character, to not remember such a basic task, especially when there was direct danger to his life if he forgot.
3) The movie needed for Atwood's lawyer to steal Eddie's stash of pills causing Eddie to spiral out. Problem? Isn't it far fetched to imply that Atwood's henchman killed the woman in the hotel to frame her murder on Eddie at the oft chance that Eddie would retain the same lawyer that worked for Atwood just so he could get close to him to steal his pills for Atwood to save Atwood's life? Huh? How did the henchman/lawyer even know that the pills would be on Eddie to take? They never used to be - the custom suit w/ hidden pocket was something new. He certainly didn't carry them on him back when the woman was initially killed. This whole setup was contrived and made no sense and was based on a lot of coincidences, ones that no one could have predicted.
That is just a few examples of sloppy storytelling. There are also a bunch of basic nit picks that I have like: 1) Why didn't Eddie, who was fearing for his life, buy a gun & train how to use it under the help of NZT? He hires bodyguards and buys a fortress to live in but doesn't purchase a handgun? 2) Why didn't the scientists who made NZT take it themselves in order to use their super smarts to perfect the drug and make it what Eddie's scientists were able to create in the end without the aid of being under the drug's influence? 3) After drinking the Russian's NZT laced blood, why did Eddie lie there on the ground waiting for the henchmen to return so he could poke one in the eye w/ a needle? Why not get out of there? Did we really need that stupid fight scene? 4)Breaking into the safe with a chainsaw in minutes? Impressive 5) Is it really believable that NZT wouldn't have hit the black market and been all over the place?
Lastly - a huge problem I had with Limitless was the happy, Hollywood, contrived Ending. Withdrawal from NZT? Side effects? Once the drug wears off so does the heightened brain activity? No problem - the movie flashes forward 12 months to give Eddie Morra a rainbows, puppies & sunshine like ending where his labs have now created a pill that works like NZT only there are no side effects and the super smart effects are permanent. How nice! He's all happy now & brilliant forever & running for Senate - he's with his girlfriend & their ordering food and look, he's fluent in a foreign language because he's so smart and YUCK. The ending was so over the top in an 'everything worked out in the end' way. I hated it. I didn't need for Eddie to die or crash and burn or anything like that but Limitless took the concept of a happy ending to another level.
Also, with the ending comes a rushed attempt to villanize De Niro's character of Carl Van Loon who out of no where makes a pathetic power play by trying to blackmail Eddie & is quickly shot down. The whole scene between them fell flat for me and felt incredibly sloppy and quickly put together.
Overall, in spite of all the shortcomings, Limitless is still a really good movie. It's thrilling, fast paced and the basic concept is interesting and makes for an entertaining film - you just can't really think about things like logic or else you will be disappointed. 7/10
This movie doesn't exactly go deep with either the moral or thematic
implications of super intelligence. Nor are the characters particularly
well developed. But I was engaged from beginning to end with this taut
and, best of all, original thriller. I've never seen anything quite
like it. It proceeds in a generally credible and suspenseful way from
its premise--a pill that allows you to use all of your brain.Of course,
the notion that we're only using a small fraction of our brains is
untrue, but I liked how the film uses this urban fib as a springboard
for its engaging story.
There are one or two moments that strain credulity, (I'm thinking, particularly, of the one-eyed thug who can't seem to hit the broad side of a barn with his gun) but I think every good story has a few of those.
The camera tricks and visual effects used to externalize what's going on in the main character's head are also a lot of fun. Good performances by all the actors.
If you yearn for science fiction movies and thrillers that you can actually believe from moment to moment and haven't seen 10 times before, then I'd recommend this one.
If you've ever found yourself staring into nothingness, wondering why
you couldn't muster even a hair of energy to get up and do something,
then you're going to find this movie highly satisfying. Limitless takes
you on a ride... and that's not an exaggeration. The computer graphics
create a glimpse into what it would actually feel like to be a
"super-you." The writers also did a great job of creating a character
that from the start... pretty much charms your pants off. Bradley
Cooper actually surprised me. I never thought he was a bad actor, but
he was able to honestly portray a guy that had absolutely nothing going
for him and became a "somebody." The movie graphics, plot, and main
actors (well, DeNiro, Cooper, and Johnny Whitworth) were all
intriguing. It's not just a movie about what crazy things some drug can
make you do... it creates a discussion within each of us, "What if you
could unlock all the potential of YOUR mind, who would you be?" Now the
downsides... some of the supporting actors were very weak. Also, there
were some scenarios that went off the deep end but actually had the
audience laughing hysterically so it wasn't exactly a bad thing. If you
thought you'd get a deep or scientific explanation for the drug...
don't hold your breath. Thankfully the plot was engaging enough that
you didn't really care. The movie had some interesting ideas but some
that I especially loved were the ones about identity, and about taking
something to make yourself better and whether that meant you were
actually you or an altered you. Does it matter even? One last thing I
gotta say though, the one guy, Johnny Whitworth, did a really great
job. I hope he gets some major roles in the future because I think he's
I'd definitely recommend watching this movie. If only just for the ridiculous scene with the skates. Hilarious.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The movie starts as a 'what if' story, turns into a mystery, and then
transforms itself into a thriller.
The most interesting aspect of the film to me was its theme, namely the limitless potential of our conscious mind. Is our brain a treasure island full of hidden mental powers? At times we surprise ourselves by being able to recall a seemingly obscure fact deep in our memory vault.
Not a few things in the movie kept me on the edge of my seat: the known/unknown side effects of the drug, the shady haunting man, the powerful secret hanging by a thread, and the unpredictable story line.
The film slightly suffers from some loose ends, though. For example, it could do without the thug, and the murder at the hotel could have contributed better to the story line, if more elaborated.
I wish that the ingredients of the drug were rare and the drug itself was impossible to be recreated.
Overall, the acting was convincing and the special effects weren't distracting, but rather cleverly woven into the scenes.
Its ending was rather lame, IMHO. Why not leave us with some unanswered questions to lose sleep over? Well, I love dark endings, like the one in 'Somewhere carnal over 40 winks'.
Spoiler: The Matrix is mentioned in the movie.
You're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, or at least that's
what authors tell us. Well motion picture directors would want you to
not judge their films by the trailers or posters. Limitless is one of
the few recent films to deny the misconceptions from its efficient
It's sold as Bradley Cooper gets smart drug fix from Robert De Niro then must defeat him through a series of cat and mouse games. In actuality Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) is a struggling writer/slob who acquires a drug called NZT-48, a pill that allows him to recall everything from the briefest of encounters. In minutes he is transformed from a guy no one could believe has a book deal to a man no one can do without. Door opens, too many door really. Eddie's problem solving solutions end up fanning the flames of questions around him, and before long it seems that everyone in the city is after him. The intricate dynamics that weave this trail of lies is the best since Match Point (2005).
Cooper's performance totally shocked me. He's able to go from panicked addict to conversationalist genius and back without losing the support of the audience. With no key player for Eddie to confide in or take along for the journey, the supporting performances are little more than plot points. Abbie Cornish, and Robert De Niro don't have nearly as much range to showcase in this screenplay. However with a little change, Anna Friel's one scene could have been expanded into something with more drama and likely give Limitless the emotional impact needed for some to take it seriously.
Enough cannot be said for how amazingly brisk and refreshing the production comes across. Nearly every scene has at least some artistic appeal. This is one of the more attractive films I've seen using the Red digital cameras and I have to give the colorist some praise for the warm palette used to show the influence of NZT-48. Thanks to the mind-altering plot, Limitless is one of the fewer movies where extravagant transitions make sense.
Limitless is indicative of a minor subgenre that sprang up around the dawn of the current millennium; I call this the genre of self-discovery. Examples of these films include Fight Club and The Beach and more examples can be found in Asian cinema (where I also believe Limitless drew inspiration for art direction). The primary goal of these metaphysical pictures is to delve into what makes us tick. Limitless asks the viewer to exam what's holding each of us back from being the perfect versions of ourselves, and by stories end this viewer certainly felt inspired.
I can see room to complain when it comes to the way Limitless approaches relationship. Remember, I'm seeing this as a specialty film about inner exploration and as such I'm allowing for some leeway in how director Neil Burger is able to keep the pace going while focusing almost exclusively on Eddie. Still, I would have appreciated one scene showing how his limitless knowledge afforded him relationship-handling tact.
Limitless has such a breathtaking pace that you aren't going to find the time needed to nitpick. Some of the action at movie's end is resolved with little plausibility, but it's too much fun to attack. At least the title of Limitless offers some truth in advertising.
A pill can make you smart is indeed an interesting concept but what is
more interesting is the directing. It's not an ordinary thriller movie.
The director gave a lot of style in this movie to make it more
exciting. It definitely works and the movie is limitlessly
entertaining. There are some plot holes that the filmmakers doesn't
intend to fix it but still it's worth watching.
The movie is of course about an intellectual pill. It's intriguing to know what's the side effects of it. Well, it's quite fun to know what's going to happened to the protagonist but the movie's smartness isn't very limitless. There are massive plot holes in here. There are also some confusion in this.
If there is something limitless in here then it's the entertainment quality. Neil Burger gave a lot of style and ridiculousness in this film. The editing was quite fast and fun. The zooming in through places is amazing. The soundtrack and the music score does perfectly fit in every scene. The performances were good. Bradley Cooper is an entertaining actor but he had some weaknesses in serious scenes like crying or being scared. Robert De Niro only shows up in times but you know him, he is just being himself and there is nothing wrong with that.
Overall the movie is ridiculously fun. The movie is no cliché, it's all unique by so many reasons including the trippy, vertigo, and zooming in style. It's intriguing, it's fast, and it's smart at times. "Limitless" is another movie that has merits that ignore the flaws. It's just a non-stop entertaining solid flick.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Plot: Mind enhancing drug turns loser's life around, but comes at a
Just joking. There is no cost.
1. Use your exceptional abilities to cheat your way through life by making money for yourself, sex up random women, get away with murder, go into politics, and assist corporate mergers to tighten the monopolistic grips of soul-less business pricks.
2. Ignore the little people. They are a waste of your time. Forget about finding alternative energies, curing diseases, preventing poverty, educating young minds, helping the blind see, the deaf hear, and the crippled walk, bring peace to waring ideologies and religions, and generally enlightening the planet with your super human brain.
3. Drugs are wonderful and we need to use them for the rest of our otherwise vapid lives. Without drugs, we die.
F this crap. Maybe it was unintentional, but I HATE the message this sends to audiences.
I don't even want to bother with the absurd plot holes.
An aspiring writer struggling with his love life, an apartment in
shambles, a wasteful lifestyle and a writer's block, is left hopeless
after being dumped for his ineptitude. He then stumbles upon a past
acquaintance who introduces him to an experimental drug that could
change his life forever. The intriguing proposition of the story
centers around this pharmaceutical experiment that optimizes brain
usage to 100% from the meager 20% that we normally use. The problem,
that we soon discover, is that supply is limited..... and restricted.
Eddie (Bradley Cooper)'s attempts to write a novel go in vain and his inability to push himself to seek refinement is evident with his apartment, his relationship with his otherwise focused girlfriend and his dependent finances. At such a juncture, he stumbles upon his ex- brother-in-law who introduces an experimental designer drug that enhances brain functionality to harness all its potential. As he is then confronted by his landlord's wife who yaks at him for the pending rent, Eddie chooses an intelligent escape by taking one of the pills and then, whatever he has seen, heard, read or experienced in his life, is available to him as reference. Knowledge acquisition is rapid and so is its retention. Eddie soon discovers that he can achieve the impossible like Bruce Almighty and as greed takes over, he seeks to exploit the financial markets to make some astronomical gains. Overnight success draws inquisitive eyes of the ambitious and Eddie would need to maintain a low profile if he doesn't want to expose his secret to his phenomenal analytical abilities. Veteran investor Carl Loon (Robert De Niro) employs Eddie and gives him the incredible opportunity to make it to the big league in a very short time. Just when it all seems to be going his way, Eddie realizes that the pills have an adverse effect on his health and without a regular intake, he would almost lose his life. To add to that, he is pursued by a goon who now knows the secret to his supreme abilities and demands more pills for himself.
There is always some danger lurking around the corner in Limitless. Even though, the idea of an intelligence enhancing medication seems like the ultimate strength, one always feels restless and is aware of some form of imminent threat. It just seems too good to be true and that is primarily what grips you through this well paced screenplay.
The film looks great with the camera speeding through the streets and the stunning views of New York city. The mood resembles that of Neil Burger's previous film, 'The Illusionist' and this one is equally intriguing, if not more. The background score is well suited to the film's pulsating situations.
The beautiful Abbie Cornish plays the tense situations quite well and in confrontational scenes with Cooper, she emerges strong. Robert De Niro gets a Michael Douglas type role where he seems to enjoy throwing his power around. Good to see him threatening people around him because that is what he does best..... Bradley Cooper took complete advantage of the opportunity where he can play a definitive lead and he is quite convincing both as the struggling author and the coolest man in town with higher intelligence.
Director Neil Burger keeps the momentum going while keeping us glued with suspense, action and twists. A novel idea is simplified in his execution and he makes it easy to absorb it as a reality right from the beginning. He does avoid superficial scenarios and unnecessary drama and chooses to portray the hardships that Eddie encounters while he possesses such power. Limitless entertains with the possibilities and the consequences of uncontrollable powers. However, in the end, it is no 'Inception' in story telling or concept and if you're in with unreal expectations, it will surely disappoint but due credit must be given to Neil Burger for a good execution of the concept that even in the end, doesn't fall flat on its face.
- 8.081 on a scale of 1-10.
I have to say that this movie panders to my particular taste, which is
to say it has a well crafted story for our times, good acting and just
the right blend of New York atmosphere mixed with a sci-fi feel. The
other main issue is drugs. I personally have partook in the search for
an intelligence enhancing substance and it was quite believable to
watch Bradley Cooper transform from a bohemian-slob to a
brainiac-overacheiver. The characters were well written and
thought-out. The situations were too close to home for me to ignore.
The character driven story was exemplary to any current sci-fi films.
The tension was akin to any good crime drama but the plot kept it teasingly interesting. Why didn't I hear of this book? Anyways, Eddie(Bradley Cooper) is trying to meet a deadline after breaking it off with the love of his life(Abbie Cornish),and is on a downward spiral. He runs into an ex-brother-in-law who appears to be a druggie, but is actually involved in designer drug production, and is ensnared in a plot that leads him from the Russian Mafia to Wall Street. The science behind this movie is very believable and I applaud the producers for being brave enough to bringing it to the screen
I was skeptical at first about this movie, which is why I didn't go see it the week that it came out. I just figured it was all too obvious what would happen and to be honest some of that did happen yet they did the expected so well that it really didn't seem to make a big difference that I saw it coming a mile off. Which made the things that you didn't expect even better. I enjoyed this movie so much that I would do the unthinkable that I've done only once in all of my years, and that is pay to see it again at the theater. I may even buy a copy of it when it comes out on Blu Ray. THAT's how good this is. The acting was superb and what I enjoyed most is that finally someone knows how to end a movie. BRAVO
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