Limitless was different than we thought it would be. First of all, it was more fun. Second of all, it had more action and intensity than we expected. It’s also a lot more violent than we thought it would be. The premise is a lot like the premise of Mathilda, only with drugs. Pills open up a guy's brain so that he can use the full potential of his mind. The movie asks you to accept this outlandish premise, and it’s easy to do so. The movie raises more ethical, psychological, and social questions than it does scientific ones. The direction is good and so is the pacing. By the time the end rolled around, we were shocked that it was over so soon. It could have held at least another 20 minutes. It’s sure to entertain. We liked Bradley Cooper, the man just about every guy we know is jealous of, in the lead role. He managed to make us care about a character who was about as selfish as a normal human with new powers would be. Cooper’s character, Eddie, asked us at some point in the movie, “What would you do?” Good point. Most of us have thought about having superpowers. Ok, maybe that’s just us nerds.
Eddie used his new super brain to get ahead in life. He wanted to change the world, but it seemed like he wanted to make his mark for his own sake, and he always took the high profile route so that people would see him. He used his brain to make money, not to work out the world’s poverty problem or restructure struggling communities or cure cancer, etc. The pills gave him intellectual gifts but no wisdom. What could you do if you were limited? The movie’s answer is you could serve your ego even better than you do now, “improving yourself.” And it could also get you laid a lot. We have heard it said that there are two great tests in life: Success and suffering. Both bring out what you are really made of and what your priorities are. We think Eddie failed both tests in this movie, but the movie wants us to honestly ask ourselves if we would pass them when he did not. It also asks us if we would take the pills at all or remain as we are. We appreciate those questions. One character who handled the drug differently than Eddie did? Eddie’s on-again, off-again girlfriend, Lindy. She recognized that the drug changed who she was and would be dangerous after one try. Most of the characters are both relatable and believable.
What could have made this movie better? More humor. The funny moments were few. The narrator could have had a dark wit, like the Fight Club narrator, because he was a writer and could have been believably witty with words, rather than just telling us what was going on. If the script were cleverer, the movie would have worked on a smarter level. It was great to see Pushing Daisies’ Anna Friel uglied up. We can’t believe she would let them do that to her pretty face! Another TV face we saw was the guy who played Bart Bass on Gossip Girl. He had a small role, but still.
Spoiler warning- Don't look at the comments if you don't want to know the ending
Thoughts about this particular movie would not be complete without discussing the ending, but we want to keep things spoiler-free. Click on the comments, and the first comment by “Ern and Leeard” will be the rest of this review, in case you have no interest in seeing the movie or you have seen it and want to discuss the ending.
Movie Grade: B
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