Limitless Movie Review

Despite a rather incomplete premise, this sleek thriller barrels full-steam through its plot. It's involving and entertaining, and sometimes even thought-provoking. And it gives Cooper a role that perfectly uses his skills as an actor.

Plagued by writer's block, Eddie (Cooper) has become a scruffy loser, which prompts high-flying girlfriend Lindy (Cornish) to dump him. Then his drug-dealing ex-brother-in-law (Whitworth) offers him a clear pill called NZT that lets him access all of his brain. Suddenly, words flow freely and his mind races ahead, learning languages (the better for bedding beautiful women) and working the stock market. But his moneymaking schemes put him in league with both a nasty Russian loanshark (Howard) and a fat-cat businessman (De Niro), just as NZT's dark side-effects kick in.

Based on Alan Glynn's novel The Dark Fields, the role fits Cooper as it if were written for him. He effortlessly transitions from slovenly slacker to handsome devil while sustaining a believable character who's both likeable and a bit scary. Eddie is a bundle of quick wit and murky shadows, and Cooper convinces us with the lightning dialog, seductive charisma and grim emotions. It's a meaty performance that's a lot deeper than the haircuts that symbolise each stage in Eddie's transformation.

He even holds his own alongside De Niro, Cornish and Friel (as Eddie's ex-wife), all of whom are terrific and underused. And we also have fun watching Howard's character shift through the film, although he seems to only exist to provide a sense of menace and brutality and crank up the suspense. It's thoroughly enjoyable to watch these people deal with an extraordinary series of events, and even when things start to turn nasty, our interest continues to be piqued by the possibilities.

All of this goes a long way in papering over the plot's wobbly foundations (just how does someone get a book contract without writing a single word?) so that we can enjoy the ride. Burger assembles all of the elements with an exhilarating visual style, using clever settings and whizzy effects work to keep our synapses snapping along with Eddie's. So it's mildly disappointing that Eddie uses his powers merely to make a lot of money.

Comments

Limitless Rating

" Excellent "

Rating: 15, 2011

Advertisement

More Bradley Cooper

Can Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper Recreate Oscar Magic in 'Serena'? [Trailer]

Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper certainly appear to have a connection on-screen. Both were Oscar-nominated for Silver Linings Playbook - with Lawrence going on to...

Serena Trailer

As the Great Depression begins to sweep across America, George Pemberton (Bradley Cooper) and Serena Shaw (Jennifer Lawrence) meet and fall in love. The whirl-wind...

A Week In Movies: Expendables And Bradley Cooper Spotted In London, New Trailers For St. Vincent, Into The Woods And More

The world premiere of The Expendables 3 took place this week in London, attended by Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Antonio Banderas, Kellan Lutz and Wesley...

Just Where Has Chris Pratt Come From?

Who is Chris Pratt? Now, he’s the main star in one of the most talked about films in the Marvel Studios’ collection. He’s slim, he’s...

Advertisement

'Guardians Of The Galaxy' - Marvel's New Super Franchise?

Guardians of the Galaxy was given a big platform to live up to before its official release with many calling the tenth Marvel instalment the...

Guardians of the Galaxy Propels Seventies Music to Top of Charts

Guardians of the Galaxy's quest for world domination seems to be going pretty well- the film has not only slain at the box office, it's...

With A $95 Million Box Office Prediction: Is ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ On Course To Break Box Office Records?

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy looks to be sailing on course to become one of the studio’s biggest movies of all time, thanks to an...

A Week In Movies: Get On Up Premieres, Cooper Cooks In London, Trailers For Tusk, Mockingjay, The Hobbit And Mad Max

The stars came out for the New York premiere this week of Get on Up, starring Chadwick Boseman as Godfather of Soul James Brown. He...

Advertisement