What if you could take a pill that would result in the unlocking of the unused 80% of your brain? Anything you’ve seen, read, smelled, touched, etc. could be recalled in an instant – imagine the power you would have over yourself and others. This is the premise of the 2011 film “Limitless,” starring Bradley Cooper (The Hangover) and Robert De Niro (Little Fockers). Cooper plays divorcé and fledgling writer Eddie Morra, living in New York and resigned to his destiny as just another guy on the streets with no future. Enter Eddie’s ex brother-in-law, played by Johnny Whitworth (Gamer), who pities Eddie’s bleak existence and offers him a very tiny, clear pill referred to as NZT. Once on the drug, Eddie’s life changes forever as the possibilities with such power become limitless.
Coming off a string of comedies and action flicks, Cooper wanders down a path less traveled with Limitless. As someone who has an appreciation for the writers of the world, Cooper was insistent with director Neil Burger that he would be the perfect candidate for playing someone like Morra. We’re lucky he did, since Cooper’s performance is really what makes the film as interesting as it is. Throughout the film Morra goes from sick to healthy, burdened to free, the positives being attributed to NZT and its miraculous effects. Cooper not only effects these transitions in a flawless manner, but does so in a way that makes it believable. De Niro’s character, although in a minor role, adds to the story in an intelligent way without taking you out of the plot.
With a film like “Limitless,” there will always be those who cry “plot hole!” in every other scene. Unfortunately, not all accusations are without just cause… but what those people don’t realize is that the film isn’t necessarily a social commentary on drug use or pills, but on what one would do with unfathomable power and the consequences of using that power for personal gain or otherwise.
A beautiful soundtrack and stunning visuals garner high praise for Limitless, and if you can suspend logic for an hour and forty-five minutes… you’ll love this film. 4 out of 5.