Superman can raise his hand and propel himself through the air and Neo can lay waste to a room full of SWAT agents without missing a beat.
What astonishes us about these individuals is watching them experience things we will only ever get a glimpse of when we close our eyes at night and slumber off to dream. However, no power is ever as captivating to the imagination as the power of genius.
Some of our most memorable movie scenes involve feats of genius such as Will Hunting deflating an inflated ego of a Harvard undergrad who’s attempting to humiliate Will’s friend in Good Will Hunting.
Limitless is the exploration of a common man who finds a vehicle to superhuman genius through a designer drug called NZT.
NZT opens the synapses of the human mind allowing a person access to 100% of their brain and grants the user limitless focus, ambition and motivation. Bradley Cooper plays Eddie an, underachiever for whom NZT becomes a personal super solider serum of the mind. Within a few weeks he transforms himself from a broke, depressed, loser into a millionaire business genius being courted by the most prominent corporations in America.
This movie is fantastic. It gets everything right.
A film like Limitless runs the risk of being a great concept with a bad execution. It easily could have opened with an intriguing setup then degraded into a dumb action movie for the final act. It doesn’t. It spends plenty of time having fun with Eddie’s new found powers while at the same time slowly evolving the plot into obstacles and danger that completely make sense.
It acknowledges the fact that NZT is a drug and touches on the issues with drug addiction, but it is carful to tread lightly knowing what kind of movie it is. Limitless gives us our fill of plenty of cool things we ourselves would do if we had the mental prowess of Eddie, but keeps the plot moving forward and I found myself never for a moment being taken out of the film.
I also find myself become a steadfast fan of Bradley Cooper. To date I have not seen anything he was in that I didn’t have fun with, and that I didn’t want him to have more screen time. DeNiro makes a memorable and understated supporting appearance and fills the roll out superbly, showing that a great actor can take second billing and do great things with it.
This film is directed by Neil Burger who directed a little film I loved entitled Interview with the Assassin, which explores the Kennedy assassination.
In Limitless it’s clear his directing prowess is going to lead to some good things. One device he uses in the film is to change the lighting and the camera angles to demonstrate the difference between people normally and people experiencing the clarity of being on NZT. Burger has a natural feel for directing and after this I’d keep in eye on him because I definitely see him becoming a major player in Hollywood directing.
Its rare and a treat to review a film where I can find nothing bad to say.
Limitless is the flawless execution of exactly what it sets out to be.
It entertains and it captivates.
It knows it’s not trying to win any awards so it focuses on fun, on excitement, and on taking us for a fantastic ride.
Buy your ticket. Get on this ride.
Limitless will be worth the money and it’ll leave you feeling juiced up like you just took a hit of NZT yourself.