Sunday, March 20, 2011
Limitless: A Roller Coaster Ride on Drugs
Limitless is full of go, go, go attitude, and really never stops that pace. It has a frantic editing and directing style, which shows the audience what it's like inside the lead character's head.
Eddie Morra, played by Bradley Cooper, is a down on his luck, drunk, writer with a very bad case of writer's block (the kind that lasts forever, and this opening sequence was my favourite part as I could relate to the writer's block bits, not yet the drinking though, but give it time). He also gets dumped by his long suffering, but successful girlfriend (Abbie Cornish is great in this small, but pivotal role). So what can a guy do whose life is so clearly in the dumps? He can take a drug that can change all that. Eddie is offered one pill by his former brother in law, Vernon, a drug he claims is FDA approved. Eddie tries the drug because what has he got to lose? And what he gains from it is life changing. The drug is said to make your brain open up, you can access parts that can't normally be accessed. In one day, he writes 90 pages of his novel, he cleans his apartment, he just keeps going and going. And in the morning, groggy, he realizes that he needs and wants more. But bad people want the drug too, and the body count begins. Eddie steals a stash of drugs after his drug dealing ex brother-in-law is found murdered.
The drug, NZT48, changes his life. He finishes his novel, gets it to the publishers then suddenly realizes that he doesn't want to be a writer anymore, and gets into finances so he can create a nest egg for himself and eventually his girlfriend, who gets back, then loses again, then gets back again. In the financial world Eddie meets Carl Van Loon, Robert DeNiro not looking Dutch at all, and he does his best to impress the financial tycoon.
I won't go more into plot details, as it gets complicated. But in a good way. It's a fairly fun ride full of action, chase sequences and intrigue. It's a life and death struggle for Eddie and his loved ones. The two things that I didn't like about the film is the voice over narration by Eddie as I found it distracting and repetitive. As a movie goer, I can figure stuff out. I don't need it spelled out for me. Is the average movie goer getting dumber? I also didn't really care for the ending. Let's just say that Eddie's hair is the vocal point, and that's just not a good thing. I do like that the writer, Leslie Dixon, is a woman, and I want more female screenwriters writing action films.
The movie could have been a bit smarter, with more detail focusing on the scientific responses to the drug. It's there, but sometimes gets bogged down by the running and dizzying camera work.
It makes me think if I was offered the drug to improve my concentration and potential that I might actually try it. But I do think Eddie should have lost more so I could empathize with him. The way it stands, the movie's message is that this drug is good!
P.S. If you're a fan of the tv show, pushing daisies then Limitless will be a treat for you as Anna Friel plays a small role as Eddie's ex-wife.