Thursday, May 17, 2012

Limitless (Neil Burger, 2011) Review

Look back to 2011: Harry Potter had come to an end, silent movies made a return in the form of The Artist and Dreamworks finally beat Pixar at their own game. However, one of the more unique films and definitely one of the most interesting was pushed aside by all the other big films at the time and that film is Limitless just in case you didn't bother to read the title of this review. There is a reason I use images!

Limitless is a film that features a pretty unique narrative. Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) is a failed writer who discovers a special drug known as NZT that allows him to use the full capability of his brain. Using this drug, Eddie goes on to succeed in the stock market and earn a job with huge business owner Carl Van Loon (Robert DeNiro) while trying to keep himself and his girlfriend Lindy (Abbie Cornish) out of the path of people trying to track down and use NZT. The most interesting part of the narrative is how the film makers managed to not only balance out the two different narratives (The drug and Eddie's business career) but they also manage to keep them fresh every time there is a switch from one narrative to the other. It's very well put together. The execution of this narrative is probably the main reason that the film was overlooked as it isn't perfect. While the introduction of NZT is very early on, the rest of the plot points such as the introduction of Carl (who was all over the promotional items such as posters and the DVD cover) takes a while so the audience may lose interest before the film REALLY gets good.

One of the high points of Limitless is the different visual codes and effects. Now, despite the first film I reviewed being Avengers Assemble, I am not one for the summer action blockbuster nor am I swayed by how good a film looks but here it looks great. There is little use of visual effects but where there is, it really looks good. The best example being when Eddie takes the NZT drug at one point which causes the camera to do a psychedelic zoom in that really messes with my eyes...awesome yet mind boggling...

Limitless is by no means perfect. I already went into a few of the low points such as the slow narrative but what's a film with out a few more negative points. Even Avengers Assemble had low points and I gave that a perfect score! Limitless really is not for everyone. If you don't like psychological thrillers then this may not be the film for you. Also it gets pretty violent at times but, hey, I've seen much worse. There isn't anything bad...just blood. Lots and lots of blood.

To sum up, Limitless is a unique film that offers a lot of good ideas that also brings its own ideas of the thriller genre. While it isn't for everyone's taste and takes a while to really get good, it still holds up and is very enjoyable.

A unique film that, despite not being for everyone, still holds up and manages to provide a decent narrative.

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