Review: Interested In A 'Limitless' Cerebral Ride With Cooper, Cornish & De Niro?
Well, Team Lee, if there were ever a film presenting the coolest premise ever, it’d have to be ‘LIMITLESS!’ I know when questioning the effects of my life if I’d be able to use 100% of my brain, rather than the mediocre 20%, I know I’d go on a crazy rampage and do whatever I can in my power to obtain just about anything and any woman I want! Sure there’s an aspect to it where I might tire out and wish my life would dance to the beat of a different drum, but come on… anyone reading this review at one point in their life has wished they could have the amount of power where the disgusting human race would kneel at their presence and deliver at the snap of a finger.
To an extent, I, Prinz ‘L’ Double ‘E,’ already possess some of that uncontrollable force, but I’ve been reserving my full-fledged game plan for December 21, 2012! With that said, screw the Mayas! I’m the one who spun the wheel of the ever-so-terrifying “rumor,” however; newsflash my fellow Lee’ites… it’s true! It’s all true and you can thank my acquiring of NZT for having granted me the ultimate in power ever known to you worthless peons known as mankind! So as the clock ticks, brace for my hostile takeover, as I sit back hovering over Earth’s Blueprint and placing X’s on worthless land and check marks on locations I plan to conquer and utilize! Until then, you have a year and nine months to prove your undivided attention and servitude to Lord Lee!
I will halt on continuing my psychological terrorism, and will start off on a film which displays how it’ll be for me pretty soon. Granted the film ends on a certain note which can be translated in any way, shape or form you feel as the viewer, but remember when I say I’m the REAL DEAL, so don’t sit with a mindset of safety telling yourself “Oh, it’s just a film.”
‘LIMITLESS’ has to be 2011’s first and perhaps only mind-freak films which allows you to question how much of a loser you are and how better would it be if you’d be able to become a better version of yourself. It’s injected with many subliminal messages and for someone like myself who’s always analyzing, it doesn’t stray much from not only living in the world as a whole, but in one of the most unremorseful locations known to most! And it’s simple, you either have the “swag,” or you don’t!
LIMITLESS’ follows aspiring author Eddie Morra (Cooper) is suffering from chronic writer's block, but his life changes instantly when a casual run-in with his former brother-in-law leads to the introduction to NZT, a revolutionary new pharmaceutical that allows him to tap his full potential. With every synapse crackling, Eddie can recall everything he has ever read, seen or heard, learn any language in a day, comprehend complex equations and deceiving anyone he meets—as long as he keeps taking the untested drug. Soon Eddie takes Wall Street by storm, parlaying a small stake into millions. His accomplishments catch the eye of mega-mogul Carl Van Loon (De Niro), who invites him to help broker the largest merger in corporate history. But they also bring Eddie to the attention of people willing to do anything to get their hands on his stash of NZT. With his life in jeopardy and the drug's brutal side effects taking their toll, Eddie dodges mysterious stalkers, a vicious gangster (oddly resembling Jason Statham) and an intense police investigation as he attempts to hang on to his dwindling supply long enough to outwit his enemies.
Not pulling any punches, I loved the film! There are elements to this picture that may have dragged on certain points, but overall, the film’s grainy look/appeal allows one to feel the misery-like mood from beginning to end. And even though Eddie was able to go from zero to hundred in less than God knows how quick, the effects and pacing doesn’t always acquire a mindset of having lost or gaining all. Perhaps it was purposely written and directed in that form, but every scene leaves an open-“ended” action which never lets go of how powerful Eddie begins to feel as he briefly escalates to a level of realizing who he’s become, and just how much he can obtain.
Bradley Cooper was pretty cool for this role and I think you’ll see why. Something I noticed is when his earlier mediocre role of Eddie is presented, not only do we get to see him as a loser physically, but all surrounding him allows us to feel it too. Covering angles from his apartment, through specific NYC locations, all combined serve as a well wrapped angle to present the broken down Eddie. I mean even his usual scruffy face played a role. At points the visuals triggered a bad smell too! (Perhaps seeing as this was screened over in Tribeca, maybe it was the actual NYC scent that seeped through vents on queue.) Truth is who knows…? Now when Eddie switches and begins “WINNING” a-la Charlie Sheen, the feeling transforms at a snap as well. When elements of success start to erupt, one can perhaps feel like he’s about to come full circle, but remember not all seems as is.
Robert De Niro’s role of Carl Van Loon was quick and I felt wasn’t really much of a challenge. There were objectives Loon found himself needing to reach, but other than that. It was Robert De Niro as Robert De Niro. Yes, it was a little intense when sharing dialog with Cooper’s Eddie, but it doesn’t really allow you to feel those tense moments he’s had before with actors like Al Pacino or even Ben Stiller. Whether a comedy or drama, most films allow De Niro to go nuts! In ‘LIMITLESS’ his character IS a no bullcrap taking individual, but much to HIS desire to know and perhaps nail all Eddie’s up to wasn’t as harsh or even witty. It’s not to say De Niro was bad for the roll, because he always shines beyond anyone’s imagination, but for some reason, as a fan of his, I don’t dig him as somewhat of a 2nd supporting player. It’s just me, but… it was cool to see those scenes where he’s staring at Cooper/Eddie making sure he comes across clear.
Now, someone who stood toe-to-toe with Cooper’s Eddie is Lindy played by Abbie Cornish. Here’s an actress who many may not be TOO familiar with, but she’s a pro when it comes to the world of drama. Having starred opposite Heath Ledger in ‘CANDY’ (’06) and even in earlier films with Sam Worthington in ‘SOMERSAULT’ (‘04), her role of Eddie’s unsure lover displays many levels of tough love no matter what causes going on with Eddie. Wanting the best for Eddie and loving him better for who he was, many of the NZT induced moments triggers an intriguing play when enjoying the high this illegal pharmaceutical is able to provide. She’s straight forward, clear as can be and extremely intense.
The film as a whole is a pretty cool ride to embark on. It pays homage to the use of drugs for purposes of betterment and has a little of everything (I.e. Drama, Thriller, Brilliant Writing & Good Acting). I truly feel it’ll entertain, oh, and who knows… it’ll probably have you thinking about yourself in a state of mind now versus who and how you’d be if you were able to “better” yourself by using 100% usage of your brain!
GRADE: B / GENRE: Drama, Thriller and Adaptation / ROARS: 4 out of 5
RATED: PG-13 / RUN TIME: 1 Hr. 40 Min.
STARRING: Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish, Robert De Niro
DIRECTOR: Neil Burger
(Opens Fri Mar 18, 2011)
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