#57 / 365 – ‘Limitless’ – 105 mins
Cinema Challenge #25 / 115
If you could unlock the full potential of your mind, what kind of wonders – and dangers – would await?
This is something that Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) is about to discover. Eddie is a former cocaine addict, and an author who has failed to write a single word of his novel. But when he is introduced to a mind-expanding drug, his brain starts to function at the full 100 per cent, unlike the reported 20 percent we currently use which enables him to write his novel, learn new languages at light speed, and master the complexities of Wall Street. Of course, a man with these skills is going to draw attention from some powerful characters.
From a stunning opening sequence with a dizzying camera shot that whizzes from the heights of a skyscraper to the pavement, through the back windows of a string of cabs and beyond is one of the immersive and memorable shots we have had in recent times – note to other film-makers, look what you can achieve without all your gimmicky 3D.
Bradley Cooper does an outstanding job in the central performance of down on his luck Eddie Morra and proves he not limited to the one-trick pony comedy roles he as been served in the past and this will certainly lead to more prominent offers in the future. Abbie Cornish’s role of Eddie’s girlfriend Lindy is briefly thrust into danger when things start to get ugly and this one plot area that should have clearly been used to greater extent, or just left out completely.
Robert De Niro is on good form as the villainous financial kingpin and marvelously named Carl Van Loon, who wants Eddie for his own purposes.
There is one scene that the audience will grimace at where Eddie induces the smart drug in a rather unorthodox method involving the humorous russian loan shark. Overall ‘Limitless’ director Neil Burger (‘The The Illusionist’) provides a very smart, stylish and satisfying piece of high concept entertainment.