Film has nearly Limitless potential
As it turns out, an age-old myth can make a compelling groundwork for a movie.
Bradley Cooper stars as struggling writer Eddie Moora in the new movie Limitless, a film that turns out to be more or less about opening your eyes and allowing yourself to see.
The plot is based around a magical pill called NZT that allows people to access the full 100 percent of their brain power. Of course, modern science has proved the idea false that people can only access 20 percent of their brain, but suspension of disbelief is the name of the game.
Personally, I think this movie is a fantastic piece of cinema. The script is clean, and each character has a compelling story to tell. Moora is a writer struggling just to survive in the city. Robert De Niro plays the head of a giant stock-trading corporation and Anna Friel plays the small but mysterious part of Moora’s ex-wife.
For the most part, the movie is fairly streamlined. The only real hiccup in the plot comes from Moora’s initial acquisition of the drug.
Walking down the street after another dead-end interview, Moora bumps into his drug dealing ex-brother-in-law Vernon – aka cheesy plot device – played by Johnny Whitworth.
His sole purpose is to give Moora the magic pill and then inexplicably dies 10 minutes later.
Everything picks up from there, however. Moora quickly discovers that, while on the pill, he is able to “see” almost everything. He is able to remember books vaguely glimpsed years before.
He can manipulate the stock market to make $2,000,000 in four days. And he is able to work his way into a job as a consultant for the most powerful businessman in the city, Carl Van Loon (De Niro’s character).
For the first 40 minutes, there isn’t even much conflict for the characters, and I was still compelled to find out what was going to happen next. It is a rare film that can keep me invested if there isn’t a struggle for the characters to overcome.
But once problems do start cropping up, they come fast. People who have taken the drug start dying left and right, and Moora is left running for his life from a mysterious hunter and trying to survive the effects of the pill.
Most of the special effects enhance the experience in ways that perfectly accentuate the movie. When Moora doses himself, he describes the feeling as his mind getting clearer and brighter. At the same time, the movie itself becomes crisper, and all the colors take on a vibrant hue.
Also, to display how much faster his mind works on NZT, multiple copies of Moora parade themselves on screen, each performing a different task.
So, minor problems aside, Limitless is a film worth watching.
As Moora says in the film, “I don’t have delusions of grandeur; I have an actual recipe for grandeur.”
After seeing the movie, I’m inclined to say director Neil Burger has one, too.