I’m a lucky, lucky Minx to have connected friends. Ever since I saw the trailer for Limitless back in December, I was looking forward to its release. Thanks to Kella, I got to see it on Wednesday at a sneak preview and I was not disappointed.
Limitless is based on a book by Alan Glynn called The Dark Fields. Didn’t know that before I looked up the info on the movie. Now I have it on hold at the library as I’m dying to read the story and see what the film makers adapted for the screenplay. The movie is about a writer (Bradley Cooper) suffering from writers block, when his former brother-in-law gives him an experimental drug (NZT) that allows him to use 100% of his mind’s capacity. Everything he’s ever seen, read or heard is accessible to his thoughts. Sounds amazing doesn’t it? But side-effects and dangerous men threaten his meteoric rise as he struggles to keep control of his health and his life long enough to outwit his enemies.
It’s a different type of role than I’ve seen before for Bradley Cooper: not a comedy or rom-com or supporting character. I don’t think there is a single scene in the whole movie that he isn’t in. He rocked the screen. His strong performance was just the icing on the cake of the goodness that was Limitless. I think it was the cinematography that really did it for me. The camera angles and movements really brought the essence of the world on NZT to life. You don’t really notice that the tone of the movie is subdued until the drug kicks in and the lights literally shine and everything is bright and clear. There’s an incredible uber-fish-eye angle and quick edits of extreme closeup of details. The frenetic zoom scenes are visually impressive, although there’s a distinct danger of the audience getting really dizzy during them. There were two points of the film that I actually felt queasy at, and one of them was the insane zoom through the streets of New York. I won’t tell you what the other one was but when you watch the movie you will know.
Along with Badley Cooper, the core cast was small but mighty. It’s refreshing to see Robert De Niro in a serious mogul role again. I’m not really familiar with Abbie Cornish, but she was great. I was so happy to see Anna Friel again and it took me hours to place where I recognized her from: one of my favorite shows to be cancelled prematurely, Pushing Daisies.
There was only one plot hole that jumped out at me but I don’t want to be a spoiler so I’ll just say that there’s a certain amount I think you just have to buy in to what the story tells you without trying to pick apart how realistic it may or may not be. I don’t think you have to be the sharpest tool in the shed to figure out a few of the “twists” but even thinking that I knew what was coming, the payoff was still gratifying. Other kudos: I love when movies mention other movies so I really dug the homage(s) to The Matrix, and the subway fight scene was cheer-worthy.
Long story short, based on the choices in theaters right now, aside from the alien comedy Paul, Limitless is probably one of your best shots. It’s thrilling, it’s visually cool, and the story is really nifty. I say check it out… just don’t sit in the front row.