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March 18, 2011
Review - " Limitless "  -  (in theaters) By Roland Hansen
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Directed by: Neil Burger
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Robert DeNiro, Abbie Cornish,
Anna Friel

If the apple from the tree of knowledge fell right into your
lap, would you take a bite? And then what would you do?

The apple in this case is an illicit designer drug, NZT,
and thirtysomething slacker Eddie Mora (Bradley
Cooper) - a divorced writer with a terminal case of
writer's block, a guy who was just dumped by his most
recent girlfriend (Abbie Cornish) because he's going
nowhere at the speed of light - unexpectedly finds
himself in possession of a stash of the stuff. Now, NZT
isn't just another quick high. Instead, as Eddie finds out,
it makes a lie of the old saying that we only use 20
percent of our brains and cranks that percentage up to

Suddenly, Eddie - seducing the worlds of writing, women
and Wall Street - has got massive amounts of game and
brains, attracting the attention of both barons of the
boardroom like Carl Van Loon (Robert De Niro), bullies
on the street like Russian mobster Gennady (Andrew
Howard), and some mysterious third guy who keeps
giving him the side eye and chasing him around
Eddie Morra, a divorced, broke, down on his luck writer with a bad case of writers block. He runs into his ex-wife’s brother
and offered the pill, called NZT. The film uses special effects and camerawork to visually sylize many aspects of the story
and recurring plot elements. Color temperature, a telescoping zoom effect that is difficult to describe, saturation and lack
there-of, and other visual effects give information to the attentive audience members about what is happening to the
characters in the story. The movie also pulls off the sometimes difficult task of bringing action and excitement into a cerebral
story to appeal to a more mainstream audience without looking like it is pandering.

Robert DeNiro, Abbie Cornish and Anna Friel give seamless supporting performances, and the story unfolds in a way that
gives the audience increasing insight to drug and its consequences. If you think the idea is interesting, you will appreciate
the effort put in to build a real story around it.

And did someone mention side effects? Baby, this apple bites back. This is where Eddie might be starting to realize that
getting really smart really quickly may have been a dumb thing to do.

Bradley Cooper pulls off a dramatic action role as a man discovering the limits of the capable human intellect. It's good to
see Cooper - usually seen in raunch ("The Hangover") and rom-coms ("Wedding Crashers", "Valentine's Day") - stretching
and not just skating by on his looks. Bradley is a charming actor who catches the charm and paranoia of Eddie in equal
lengths.  Limitless shows you Eddie's world before NZT and on NZT.   Does it change him for the better?   Would a drug like
NZT make you better or change you from the person people once recognized?

Limitless is the kind of movie that has a catchy premise. What if you could take a pill that would let you use 100 percent of
your brain and turn you into the perfect version of yourself? The commercials clearly get the message across and lure you
in. I did find the thread about
other people who might be
using NZT to be interesting.
The question I always have
for this type of movie is : Will
they fully explore the idea and
take it to a logical and
satisfying conclusion? Some
movies do, but many fail.

I can honestly say that this
movie sucessfully runs with
the idea and it gave me a lot
more than I expected, even if
it loses a little of it’s conviction
in the end. Limitless is almost
perfect except it tries to be too
neat and make it explainable
to everyone. Still Limitless is a
good paranoid thriller with a
magnetic turn from Bradley