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3/29/11

LIMITLESS - REVIEW


For a film about a magical brain pill, Limitless really isn't that clever at all. That said, if you allow yourself to stay brainless throughout this is one enjoyable, silly ride.

Bradley Cooper's first film as the main lead fits in very well in between this month's other two dumb sci-fi action thrillers Source Code and The Adjustment Bureau. Limitless could have easily been set in a Minority Report-style near future and it would have made just as much sense. More sense even because as it stands I could spend all day outlining the film's gaping plot holes.

The film starts off strangely rather well with some cool, hypnotic effects, a cliffhanger and some almost Spike Jonze-esque storytelling. Then we're shown the pill...

*flashback to the trailer*

Oh man this is gonna suck.

"I finished my book in 4 days!"

From the moment Cooper ingests that first pill you know what's next, you know Limitless is about the jump the shark. Cue Brad jumping into bed with random women he's just met, cutting his hair short (smart people do that), cleaning his apartment with a bunch of CLONES and playing the stock market like a true 80's young, cocky kid played by Michael J Fox/Tom Cruise.

Yes what follows the pill is very, very silly. Even Cooper's acting suffers a great deal from all the surrounding mental numbness. Hell, the guy was better than this in ALIAS!!! That said, director Neil Burger (yes, that's his name) does very well to keep us hooked throughout. It's like he was in the middle of making this really cool, edgy film and some producer just came along and dumped the Limitless script on his desk demanding a film in exchange for Hollywood's eternal ass-kissing.

What really saves the film is the unexpected dark turn it takes about halfway through. Suddenly Limitless becomes closer to Devil's Advocate which incidentally was also very silly but had enough random moments and overall style to keep even the grumpiest viewer entertained. Favourite moments? Bradley Cooper drinking blood, speaking Chinese, kung-fu fighting and that scene where the girl (Abbie Cornish) is confronted with a choice of weapons: big, sharp garden scissors and...a little child. Wanna guess which she chooses?

Guess again.

Overall, I can't believe I'm saying this but...I recommend Limitless. By all means don't expect anything smart or particularly memorable but leave your brain at the door and enjoy the fast-paced nonsense, you won't regret it.

"A fight...I don't know how to fight...DO I?"

*cut to Bruce Lee*

Unless...

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