Limitless (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner25/03/2011

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 105 mins

Hugely enjoyable thriller with a sharply written script, pacey direction and a terrific central performance from Bradley Cooper.

What's it all about?
Directed by Neil Burger, Limitless is based on the novel (The Dark Fields, novel fans) by Alan Glynn and stars Bradley Cooper as Eddie Morra, a New York author suffering from writer’s block who's just been dumped by his girlfriend Lindy (Abbie Cornish) because he's turned into a bit of a loser. When his shady ex-brother-in-law Vernon (Johnny Whitworth) offers him a clear pill called NZT that will allow him to access 100% of his brain, Eddie takes it and soon his life is completely transformed, with the pill enabling him to finish his novel, master languages, play the stock market and talk his way into or out of any given situation, including a high-profile job with business mogul Carl Van Loon (Robert De Niro).

However, Eddie's continued use of NZT also brings its own set of problems: first, he discovers some extremely dark side effects and second, the supply starts to run low. Then there's the small problem of the fact that Vernon was killed for his NZT connection and soon Eddie soon finds himself targeted by vicious Russian loan shark Gennady (Andrew Howard).

The Good
Cooper is perfectly cast as Eddie and duly steps up with his best performance to date; the scene where the pill first kicks in (during a conversation with his angry landlord's wife) is beautifully played and is just one of several highlights. De Niro is equally good in a subtly (and not so subtly) menacing turn as Van Loon and Howard is effective as Gennady, while there's strong support from Abbie Cornish and Anna Friel (as Eddie's ex-wife), even if both of them are rather underused.

Burger's stylish direction is impressively pacey throughout, aided by Jo Willems' slick cinematography and some terrific editing. He also makes strong use of some nifty effects work, most notably a speeded-up camera during a sequence that involves Eddie walking all over the city.

The Great
The script crackles with great dialogue and the plot takes a number of excitingly unpredictable turns. Indeed, if there's a problem with the film it's only that its expected drugs message is, well, somewhat mixed, to say the least.

Worth seeing?
Limitless is a thoroughly entertaining, stylishly directed thriller with a superbly written script and a terrific lead performance from Bradley Cooper. Highly recommended.

Film Trailer

Limitless (15)
Limitless has been reviewed by 3 users
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Content updated: 22/08/2018 03:08

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