Tuesday 24 January 2012

Limitless (2011) - Neil Burger

Bradley Cooper: officially the sexiest man alive.  But in Limitless he becomes superhuman.

Like in the Matrix, a simple pill will solve all your problems.  But rather than unplug you from a computer programme, it opens your mind to its full potential.  The possibilities are limitless.  When Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper), a struggling writer, is introduced to the top secret drug 'NZT' his world is turned upside down.  He completes his book in four days.  He wins back his girlfriend.  And he makes millions on the stock market.

But how long can this last?  Will his secret be discovered?  And if his mindpower is truly limitless, why are there so many plot holes?  With such a wonder-drug, you can't help but feel that whenever problems arise, they should've been forseen.  Morra is constantly on the verge of running out of stock - why has he not used his brainpower to source some more drugs before his supply ends?

When the drug is taken, the camera pulls us into an alternate reality.  Fish eye lens provides a panoramic view of the city; minute details are pulled into sharp focus; constant zooms pull us head first through Morra's vision.  Most of all, it turns the world from bleak and drab into a spiritual realm filled with colour, dominated by Cooper's sparkly blue eyes. 

Thankfully the film doesn't delve too far into an anti-drugs campaign, instead remaining an intriguing piece of science-fiction.  And, typically for the genre, the ending is left open to leave the viewer pondering.

So then Bradley, not just a pretty face?