Thursday, April 5, 2012

Limitless (2011) - Review

The concept of being so focused and perceptive that you're literally almost precognizant is pretty brilliant. Surely everyone has had that nagging feeling that if they were running at their full capacity, they could get things done. It's a very relatable premise, and it's handled well in Limitless, backed with some cool and occasionally trippy visuals to bring it to life. Therein lies both the biggest strength and greatest downfall in Limitless: the premise is too cool. It's difficult to live up to a story in which a character's possibilities are literally endless. The movie doesn't really take full advantage of the concept, and that's it's biggest misstep.

What it is, though, is an entertaining and at times tense thriller. Bradley Cooper is a total champ; he really carries the movie, and without his suave charm and charisma, this movie wouldn't be half as entertaining as it is. The rest of the acting is pretty solid too, especially Robert De Niro (even though it's clearly familiar territory for the veteran actor).  He serves as a good foil for Cooper, something he one day may become should he continue on the fast track as a high rolling businessman.  He makes for a good antagonist, but unfortunately the film brushes him aside in favor of a couple of bookie goons who are after Cooper.  That's where the biggest flaw in the movie lies; the villains are underdeveloped and painfully unoriginal considering how intriguing the premise is.

Overall though it's an entertaining thriller with a couple pretty well-done action scenes, backed by a great moody score to set the tone.  It's biggest downfall lies in not taking advantage of the wide-open concept, but that doesn't really hurt the movie itself.  If you're a fan of Bradley Cooper and want to see him in a leading role, or a fan of slightly sci-fi-tinged action/thrillers, then this is definitely one to check out.

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