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Limitless: Unspectacular yet Enjoyable Thriller

  • Abbie CornishAndrew Howard...
  • Action & AdventureScience Fiction
  • Out now
  • Neil Burger
reviewed by
Omar Atef
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Limitless: Unspectacular yet Enjoyable Thriller

As a writer, Eddie Morra (Cooper), has
everything; looks, ambition and talent. Unfortunately, they’re all wasted in
his world of personal defeat. Slowly, his life is going down the drain, until
he accidentally bumps into his ex’s brother-in-law Vernon (Whitworth), who offers
him a promising yet mysterious pill that could
the kick-start of what is left of his talent. Unwillingly at first, Eddie decides
that it’s worth the chance and takes it, only to find that he’s transformed
into a genius. So after achieving so much with only one pill, he naturally ask Vernon for more.

With his career and lifestyle on the
up, Eddie’s ex-girlfriend Lindy (Cornish) is back in the picture, not knowing
that his sudden change of character and success are due to this mysterious drug.
However, unforeseen circumstances lead Eddie into a darker world where he has
to deal with a deadly Russian loan shark, his sinister new boss (De Niro), and
his wary girlfriend. Eddie must now find a way to save his own skin, with or
without the pills.

Based on the novel by Alan Glynn, many will find Limitless an
innovative film, though fans of the book may find it disappointing. The plot is
intriguing and is difficult to criticise as the book’s bestselling status has
proven its successful formula. However, the film fails to deliver the suspense
and intensity portrayed in the novel.

Limitless starts out solid, with a narrated introduction by Cooper, some very well-produced visuals, and an attention-demanding
plot approaches. The highlighted scenes of the film, of course, are the ones
that are shown after each pill is swallowed; where we’re exposed to another
level of story-telling. 

After starring in a string of
successful films, Cooper is now one of Hollywood’s biggest names. In Limitless, he tries a more dramatic
approach that seems to be just as suitable as his more common comedy or action
roles. It’s interesting to see his
performance as a serious actor, sharing on-screen time with the legendary De
Niro. Although De Niro’s appearance is brief, he gives a typical powerhouse performance.
Cornish is a nice addition to the cast, offering a matured and warm performance
as the wary love interest.

There’s no doubt that Limitless is an enjoyable ride, but those
seeking an edgy thriller should probably lower their expectations. The film
brilliantly tackles the experience of swallowing the mystery pill; where the
concept of fantasy meeting reality is executed creatively and colourfully. But
when the film’s stars are sober, the film loses its pace and edge. However, the
ending is unexpected and will definitely jolt you out of any doubts about the

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Before Bradley Cooper got the role, it was originally offered to Transformers' star Shia LaBeouf, who had to drop out in the last minute due to a serious hand injury in July 2008.

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