Limitless – A Review

“delusions of grandeur…I have an actually recipe for grandeur”

I bet this movie felt like one big long Hangover for Bradley Cooper…shit joke alert. I’m starting early this time.

Limitless makes my top five favorite movies list but It is far from perfect. The first example that comes to mind is that the movie opens with narration which is kind of hit or miss for me. I didn’t hate it but it felt a little clichéd.

We enter on Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) standing on the balcony of his penthouse preparing to jump. We get an immediate sense of urgency because we can also hear someone trying to break into Eddie apartment.

They really tried to make Bradley Cooper ugly for the start of the movie but a ragged ponytail does not an ugly man make.

I always thought it was weird that they decided to go with chance encounter with small time drug dealer ex brother-in-law to introduce the drug to him. It’s such a strained connection and they could have introduced it to him in so many other ways.

Also while I’m on that point I doubt it would have played out like that. Forgetting for a moment the fact that Eddie’s own internal monologue confirms that they were never really friends I wouldn’t give a risky and expensive drug to someone I hadn’t seen in years who looks like he struggling for cash enough that I doubt he’d be able to become a repeat customer.

Also here we have another movie which rides on the coattails of the fallacy that we only use 10% of our brain. It seems like Hollywood thinks we’re goldfish or something.

I think the fallacy prevails in part because of the human delusion that we are more than we are and we need to unlock our potential. I think it’s why people believe in magic and psychic powers. So why not a pill that makes you super smart? Or if you happen to be called Lucy (and jeez that movie steals a lot from Limitless) a pill and 100% access to your brain grants you omniscience and telekinesis.

Hey there Eddie don’t gloss over stealing a dying woman’s pain medication. That’s something a psychopath would do. We’re meant to root for you here. Also the kind of person who’d do that at any point in his life wouldn’t even pretend to turn down some wonder drug regardless of how sketchy it is.

The drug taking effect for the first time is one of my favourite scenes. His brain sparks up like something flicked a switch and everything gets brighter like he’s really seeing the world. He even says “I was blind and how I see” before his mind was clouded and he was distracted by a hundred different things but the pill has unlocked the full potential of his brain and granted him clarity and focus.

I love this movie but before the riches, fancy suit and haircut and the flashy job I think it’s just wish fulfilment for nerds to assume that smart opinions even charismatically put out there would get you laid. Then again I’ll let it pass because he does look like Bradley Cooper.

I wish I could have one pill myself to get started on my own book which is at this point six years in the making.

NZT is also by far my favourite drug. Sure marijuana makes food taste good and makes Adam Sandler funny again but NZT is like adderall on speed. Or as Eddie puts “it it doesn’t make you high or wired just clear…it was like a drug for people who wanted to be more anal retentive”

This movie does visual effects and high intellect a lot like BBC’s Sherlock and I like it. It’s a fun style more movies should use.

Something that always bothered me. When he delivers his 90 pages to the publishers she seems surprised. Why would they take a chance on Eddie the unkempt layabout if he was so unreliable that providing material was met with surprise. As someone who aspires to be a writer and wishes a publisher would take the same kind of chance on me all I can say is…Lucky Bastard!

Also three messages in the time it took him to get back home. It must have been a really struggling publishing house if she’s that desperate for material. Either that or those 90 pages were as good as Harry Potter, the bible and your first porno mag all rolled into one.

Enhanced Eddie would be a good name for a band. Also it’s sweet he thinks that getting breakfast and cleaning toilets is all it’d take to get his hands on a pill that makes anyone the next…*insert charming and intelligent celebrity name here*

I always wondered if vernon was a better man that we thought. He didn’t wanna let Eddie in initially because he knew someone was coming to get him and when he did let him in he got rid of him as quickly as possible and did so without worrying or alerting him that he might have been in danger.

As much as he kinda needed the pills for the rest of the movie to take place I’m fed up of movies and tv shows where the character overhears something or makes a throwaway comment only for it to spark the perfect idea. Oh Vernon doesn’t cook the pills must be in the cooker.

Is it weird/gross misconduct the police didn’t search him and find the NZT right away. Again no Movie if that happens but still.

We see the fish eye again. Maybe to show the viewers the world differently or maybe the director was just a fan of citizen Kane.

Also it took just under 30 minutes for him to say the word ‘Limitless’. Not bad wouldn’t wanna blow your load too quickly.

I’d love to learn music and a foreign language but don’t ever try and tell me math is fun.

Another ego stroke for nerds. I’m sure references to history go well with the babes and bankers man. You do you friend.

All that brainpower and he still thought it was a good idea to get in bed so to speak with an angry Russian loan shark.

I feel like this movie could have been called the wolf of wall street but I feel like that was already taken.

It’s good to see Robert De Niro in a role where he isn’t grouchy comic relief…instead he’s grouchy secondary antagonist

I like seeing his mind skipping. He’s going so fast his brain is overworked. He needs to slow down and this is shown through these lapses in memory and consciousness.

The movie makes great use of colour to let you know what’s going on. Everything is bright, vibrant and rich while he’s on NZT and when he’s of it everything looks like a modern superhero movie, by which I mean dark, dull and gritty.

The fight scene in the subway is one of my favourite scenes. it’s a flurry of thought and response and he does a good job of looking detached without it looking fake and choreographed like in the matrix for example.

The entire scene of him skipping and spinning  out or control ramped up the tension considerably which was good because it’s now that things start to build to a crescendo so to speak.

Limping Eddie fleeing from his stalker is a good scene because it shows his obvious desperation and again the tension is cranked up so that we can begin get to a point where he’d be standing on a rooftop preparing to jump.

The bittersweet reunion between Eddie and his ex wife was as filled with emotion as it was exposition.

I’d completely forgotten about the Russian and so did Eddie apparently.

The creepy stalker guy it turns out was hired by a millionaire, surely with all that money his employer could have sprung for a less inept minion. I’ll say this he gets major points for creep factor and willingness to murder but he rates fairly low in actually getting the job done.

Also the pill makes you insanely smart and yet  Lindy sees a guy with a baseball bat and another with gardening shears and somehow the most logical choice for escaping capture is using the little girl in ice skates as a weapon? That’s logical thinking for you…haha.

He is functionally an addict but they really hammer it home when he desperately says to Lindy that he’ll get off the stuff. The only way it could have been worse is if he’d said “It’ll be different this time baby, I promise”

I liked the speech that Carl Van Loon (Robert De Niro) gave to Eddie about how he couldn’t go off on his own because he hadn’t made his way to the top one difficult step at a time so didn’t understand the competition. It felt kind of hollow because considering the meteoric rise to success Eddie made without him De Niro character was protecting himself and his assets as much as trying to help a young up and coming business man. Considering the speed and ease with which Eddie reached the level of De Niro’s character he just seems so frail in comparison. Sure he can bark but he doesn’t have the bite because Eddie has a potential stranglehold on the market.

Seriously this Russian guy just keeps coming back. At least he’s upgraded from leisure suit to cheap business suit. Speaking of which I like him on NZT he’s menacing but still enjoying being smart. He plays with his words and revels in it.

Turns out desperate Eddie is a little bit of a vampire. Drinking some guys blood is a serious thing.

Also the blind Russian at the end must have had some special magazine because he fired like 15-20 odd bullets without reloading.

Couple of closing thoughts. Eddie wrote the book that the movie is based on. That’s interesting. He’s considering being president and is now running for senator. So a morally questionable guy with money running for presidency….too real. Also while catchy ‘you want some Morra’ is such a terrible slogan. Anyways this film still remains on my top film list and with that in mind I’m going to give it an 8/10.

 

First Published on: https://offtherecordblog.org

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