Limbo (2005) Movie Review

Limbo is an appropriate title for filmmaker Thomas Ikimi's first feature -- his stark tale of an attorney caught in various states of constancy plays like Groundhog Day with a fifth of whiskey. For one man, time repeats itself in a torturous cycle that teeters him between complete freedom of conscience and sheer insanity.

Considering Akimi's lack of experience, it's an admirably ambitious undertaking that yields mixed results. Made for roughly $9,000 on black-and-white digital video, Limbo has many of the hiccups seen in low-budget projects and a wealth of promise displayed in Ikimi's narrative skills.

The man stuck in the middle is Adam Moses (Christopher Russo), a lawyer with a vaguely checkered past who refuses to give damaging evidence to a powerful criminal (George Morafetis). Soon, Moses finds himself on a city rooftop, where an apparent shooting leaves him unhurt -- but trapped within a never-ending series of "cycles," where a period of time may repeat any number of instances.

Ikimi establishes his story well, placing Moses in the middle of his hell as he saves an addicted gambler from suicide during one his "cycles." As the savior and the saved talk later, Moses tells his tale of woe in flashback, taking us right through the confusion with his new companion. Russo, as Moses, performs a pulpy, melodramatic voiceover throughout that works with the film's black-and-white dreariness and occasionally helps to suspend disbelief.

As a director, Ikimi employs a healthy variety of angles and approaches, sending Moses up and down stairways (an effective story device, actually), searching through apartments and roaming city streets. He even uses a simple but enticing dissolve effect to move time. The whole effort captures a spooky, seedy world rather well, probably the film's strongest attribute.

From an acting standpoint, Russo appears to get stronger as Limbo progresses, but many of the performances have an overly earnest film school flavor that can hedge toward hokey. It's the kind of weakness that comes with the territory in a film such as this. If an aspiring filmmaker could learn one lesson watching Limbo, it's that a competent lead actor can get you through some rough spots. (Or, those same aspiring filmmakers could examine the performances in Primer, a similar style of first-time film made completely with inexperienced actors.)

What keeps Limbo interesting when pacing or performances falter is the heady concept: if time never progresses "logically," then actions have no consequences. At what point does Moses' questionable past catch up with him, with his soul acting as his only moral compass? Committing crimes can be a simple philosophical endeavor when the clock just resets. To many, that may sound like a college-level conversation on existentialism, but it keeps Limbo going.


Comments

Limbo (2005) Rating

" OK "

Rating: NR, 2005

Advertisement

Editors Recommendations

Win Tickets For V Festival 2014 in Chelmsford!

V Festival is getting ever nearer and tickets are quickly selling out, but you can skip that pricey entrance fee by entering our new competition...

Win Tickets For V Festival 2014 in Chelmsford!

First Pictures Of Disney’s ‘Into The Woods’ Starring Anna Kendrick and Johnny Depp

Have you ever wondered what happened to Cinderella, Rapunzel and...

First Pictures Of Disney’s ‘Into The Woods’ Starring Anna Kendrick and Johnny Depp

Critics Say 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' Is Great, But Does Anyone Disagree?

The new Marvel movie Guardians of the Galaxy has been praised to the...

Critics Say 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' Is Great, But Does Anyone Disagree?

Ariana, Zooey, J-Lo, Miley! When Actresses Become Songstresses

Jenny Lewis isn't the only former actress to find musical success.

Ariana, Zooey, J-Lo, Miley! When Actresses Become Songstresses

Jennifer Lawrence Is Hollywood's Darling - How Has She Done It?

A teaser trailer for Jennifer Lawrence’s new film, The Hunger Games...

Jennifer Lawrence Is Hollywood's Darling - How Has She Done It?

What Do We Know About Christopher Nolan's Interstellar?

Christopher Nolan and Matthew McConaughey made a surprise visit to the San Diego Comic-Con last...

What Do We Know About Christopher Nolan's Interstellar?
Advertisement

The Celebrities That South Park Loves To Hate

Game of Thrones is one of the most popular TV series on the box at the moment but that hasn’t...

The Celebrities That South Park Loves To Hate

Ray J - Never Shoulda Did That Video

Ray J expresses remorse over his highly publicized sex tape back in 2007 with his self-directed music...

Ray J - Never Shoulda Did That Video

'Girls' Actress Allison Williams Lands Role Of 'Peter Pan' In NBC's Live Stage Production

NBC's forthcoming live stage production of 'Peter Pan' has just cast...

 'Girls' Actress Allison Williams Lands Role Of 'Peter Pan' In NBC's Live Stage Production


More recommendations

Advertisement