By Ryan Casey
The concept behind Neil Burger’s science fiction/thriller Limitless seemed to be interesting enough, a super pill that when taken renders the physical and mental abilities of the user completely unrestricted. It has to be said that my desire to watch the movie was in fact, limited. Although was my lack of enthusiasm justified?
Limitless follows the story of main protagonist Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper), a struggling writer whose creative failings have led him to the brink of alcoholism and depression. The opportunity to change his fortunes presents itself in the form of his ex-brother in-law, Vernon (Johnny Whitworth). Vernon offers him a brilliant new drug that is completely legal and is said to unlock the full potential of the human brain.
With nothing to lose, Eddie takes the alleged super drug and immediately begins to experience its benefits; he is able to use his enhanced brain capacity to analytically manoeuvre his way out of his problematic situations and climb his way up the social ladder to the status of millionaire playboy.
Now before I start, I did enjoy Limitless as a movie, and it was much better than I expected. However, there were sections of the movie that I found more pointless than limitless.
I won’t spoil the film but my ultimate grievance is with the ending of the movie. Limitless should have been concluded in a more interesting fashion, but instead the way it does finish reeks of laziness on behalf of the filmmakers and left myself feeling thoroughly un-satisfied. Without giving too much away the narrative lacks any real moral compass, making it unclear what character should be labelled as the antagonist.
Bradley Cooper gives a good performance of his character. However, I’m not sure whether it was the film’s intention but as the main protagonist I found him a bit pathetic, whether this is a ploy to negatively present drug use – it is not really clear? Robert De Niro as the corporate mogul Carl Van Loon gives an expected solid performance, yet the role of his character just feels a bit lost in the narrative.
Limitless starts off really well, but as the story advances it begins to falter. The concept of taking a pill to unlock your full potential is a great idea, but maybe the film makers should have taken some of these pills before completing the movie. Could have been great but was instead distinctly average. 3 Stars out of 5.