We went to see the film Limitless the other night, and I if I’m honest I’m still not quite sure what I made of it. Based around the concept that we only use 20% of our brain, the main character played by Bradley Cooper gets given a drug that allows him to use all his brain – which naturally makes him more intelligent, funny, motivated, etc, etc. As a concept it was a fun idea and the visualisation of the thought process the character goes through was cleverly thought through – it kept reminding me of the way that the thought processes are shown in the film Stranger Than Fiction.
The film is certainly visually impressive, and I found that the story was good up to a point – at the very end it seemed to descend into cliché with the Russian Gangsers, shady business men, etc. I also found that the coda on the film seemed a bit un-needed. The films progression showing the effects that the drug has on the characters life was also interesting – I was impressed that the effects of addiction were shown and that the drug wasn’t just a miracle cure but did come with a range of side-effects.
The three big names (Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish, and Robert DeNiro) were all very good – though this is Coopers film with him appearing in pretty much every scene and narrating the film as well. He’s a sympathetic character when you first meet him though does change throughout the film. Cornish played the long suffering girlfriend well, though some of her characters decisions seemed a bit strange given comments she makes earlier in the film. De Niro is also good in the scenes he appears in as the CEO of a large company, but he doesn’t really appear in the film except for a couple of scenes.
So all in all a film that has obviously been well thought through, and well constructed – the opening shot zooming through city streets was both impressive and disorientating. The pacing of the film was good though as previously mentioned at the end of the film it did seem to fall apart somewhat towards the end. I’d recommend seeing this but I wouldn’t say that it’s essential to see at the cinema – you may be better off waiting to see it on DVD when it’s released (doubtless later this year).