Rated PG-13 for thematic material involving a drug, violence including disturbing images, sexuality and language, 105 minutesSlick, fast-paced “Limitless” is mostly eye candy
“Limitless” explores the question, what if you had a drug that made you rich and famous? Many of us would like to have that drug, though we don’t realize the consequences of what our new life brings us. “Limitless” is slick fun for the senses, just don’t think about the plot holes or contrivances that threaten the film, particularly in the film’s fast-paced last act.
Bradley Cooper (“The Hangover”) is Eddie Morra, an unemployed New York City thirty-something writer who hits snags both professionally and personally, when his stable girlfriend Lindy (Abbie Cornish) leaves him. He meets an old friend who introduces him to a top-secret new drug called NZT, which changes a person’s mental capabilities to make them sharper and brighter in every aspect of their lives. Soon Eddie finds himself at the top of his game, living a lavish lifestyle and working for some powerful Wall-Street financiers, including Carl Van Loon (Robert DeNiro), though Eddie’s life may be in danger with a limited stock of the drug and with some bad guys who are also in pursuit of him and the drug.
“Limitless” is an energetic, well-acted action-thriller of drug-fueled success and the dangers that come with it. Most of it works well, and Cooper’s engaging performances enlivens and grounds the film well. Based on a 2001 novel “The Dark Fields” by Alan Glynn, the story is a little murky and it becomes bogged down in criminal exercises near the end, but there’s enough to keep you interested throughout.
Cornish and DeNiro both have minimal footage, so don’t go into this thinking it’s an ensemble piece, but DeNiro is used wisely by director Neil Burger (“The Illusionist”) and the final exchange between DeNiro and Cooper is a treat to watch. Burger wisely steers the film away from any anti-drug preachiness and uses it strictly for entertainment value.
“Limitless” lacks emotional depth but makes up for it with slick, fun entertainment value and eye candy that the cast becomes early on. It’s filled with some fun scenes though you may not remember much of it after it’s over.
Wes’s Grade: B-