Saturday, April 30, 2011

Limitless (Kind of a Misnomer)

Okay, when I don't absolutely love a movie, I feel compelled to point out all the reasons why, so this is going to be chock full of spoilers (I don't understand "chock full"). Also, wow! I really dropped the ball, guys. It's been two weeks since my last post. I promise to make it up to you with hilarious tales and photo fun!

Now, as for Limitless, I did enjoy it, but mostly because it was very stylized. The plot, though entertaining, had holes the Titanic could slip through unnoticed (provided the icebergs that were Bradley Cooper's girlfriend's acting were out in broad daylight). The premise is simple: There's a magic drug that allows you to access and make use of the entirety of your brain's potential. The premise is also ridiculous, since the whole we-only-use-ten-percent-of-our-brains is a blatant lie. Every part of our brain is constantly working to keep us alive and functioning. If the whole ten percent thing were true, then people who lose ninety percent (or any percent less than 100) of their brains wouldn't be considered brain dead. They'd be walking around like the rest of us, wondering how the hell you lose ninety percent of a brain.

Ignoring all of that, we have a drug that turns you into Robert Downey Jr. in Sherlock Holmes taken by a lazy, almost-failed writer. And by taken, I mean that in more ways than one. Bradley Cooper gets his hands on the drug in a socially roundabout way. His ex-almost-brother-in-law runs into him on the street and invites him for a drink. Cooper's reluctant, but he goes along with it. While they talk, it becomes more and more apparent that Cooper sucks at life. So his "brother" offers him a new, "FDA-approved" medicinal cure. Cooper's reluctant, but he goes along with it.

Once he comes down off the drug, he realizes he likes that shit, and looks up his "brother" to get more. Long story short, "brother" gets murdered, Cooper gets drugs, and then a bunch of thugs get involved. That was what really irked me. I love Robert De Niro. I was excited to see him villainized. What I got instead was a possibly Russian thug never mentioned in the trailers and totally, randomly thrown into the plot, taking over as movie villain. Then, to make it all worse, they spent the whole movie building up De Niro as this super badass who can control anyone, no matter how much "NZT" ( the drug) they're on, only to have him roll over like a dog in the least climactic way possible.

At the end, Cooper's running for Senator and is looking pretty successful. De Niro strolls in, threatening him with NZT extinction unless he decides to play ball. What happens? Cooper tells De Niro that he tweaked the drug so that he could stop taking it but still retain its effects. Then De Niro says, "Oh, okay..." and drives away.

There's no message telling us drugs are bad. No moral saying that people who cheat don't come out ahead. All we get is a two-hour drug-gasm, where Cooper and everyone else in the movie worship their vengeful god, NZT. There isn't even a difference between Cooper and Dimitri von Thuginstein, except Cooper uses his powers purely for personal gain, and Dimitri uses them... purely for... personal gain. Oh. Um... huh. Well, I guess Cooper's the good guy 'cause he got it first?


  1. Hmm... .I couldn't see how this movie would work out. Although I do still wish to see it. thanks for the review.

  2. I'm glad you found it helpful. It's still an entertaining movie, and visually it's fantastic. I hope you enjoy it.