For a film about increased intelligence, it’s ironic that Limitless does nothing to help yours while you watch it. However, you don’t always (or if you’re me, very rarely) go to the cinema to be made cleverer-er, so why don’t you just sit back and enjoy Limitless for what it is – a fast, fun, dream fulfilment that whips you along, get faster still, dips in to some fun ‘what if’s’ (though not all are explored as well as they could have been) and cements Bradley Cooper as a great leading man.
The plot follows a lowly, down on his luck writer who is struggling to string a sentence together, struggling to succeed in life. In a roundabout way, he is offered the chance to take a drug which allows every single one of his faltering synapses to trigger, allowing him full use of his brain. And yup, you’ve guessed it, he become a frickin’ genius.
The palette of the film changes, he becomes smarter dressed, he climbs the ladder of the corporate banking world, he sees equations everywhere. He remembers everything he ever did….Then he starts to have black outs, begins to rely on the drug to do anything. as you’d expect, with great power comes great comeuppance. He gets embroiled with some particularly dodgy people and the film tracks his rise, panic and realisation that all is not as it seems with visual flair and a good dose of fun and tension.
With such a canvas to play with, he doesn’t do quite as much as I’d like. There are some very satisfying moments though. he writes a novel in a night, talks or remembers people in to the sack, but if he can remember everything he ever did, where’s his flashback to childbirth? And would that suddenly destroy his libido? I jest, but more detail of his mental state would have been interesting.
But, as I said earlier: don’t think, just watch. This is great fun. Yes, there may be some major plot holes (murders are simply forgotten.) Yes, Abbie Cornish does nothing in this film. Yes, De Niro is totally under used and doesn’t have much of an arc. And yes, it is loopy escapist fun. But it’s a great ride.
And if you’re not convinced, watch this clip of the excellent effects in the film that brilliantly represents his drug addled brain: