Wednesday, March 9, 2011
This isn't the first, nor the last, movie that touches on the indulgences and side-effects of drug use in various cultures. The visual and sound mixing contribute well to the drug induced feeling of the movie. "Limitless" is based on the book "The Dark Fields" written by Alan Glynn in 2001. The movie is reminiscent of "Strange Days" in 1995 and "Fight Club" in 1999. In the same style as the book, the movie is told from the first person narrative with Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) guiding the audience on the sober and drug enhanced life. Using the first person narrative can be a crutch too heavily relied upon by a young director to advance the story. It is impressive that Neil Burger can do this in only his fourth feature.
It is interesting that Bradley Cooper was selected for the lead in this film because back in 2008 it was Shia LaBeouf that was attached to this movie. Personally I think this change was a brilliant one because I don't feel that Shia LaBeouf shows the maturity on the screen that it would take for this role. Bradley Cooper controls the movie and is complimented by the beautiful Abbie Cornish and the legendary Robert DeNiro in this relatively small cast.
Abbie Cornish (Lindy) is the girlfriend that is the catalyst to the events in that unfold. Eddie is given a clear pill that offers enhanced intellect and allows the user to see patterns in otherwise disparate information. As Eddie navigates his way from being a writer to the financial world were he makes millions of dollars in a down economy using information theory and the psychological behavior patterns of man, he is introduced to Robert DeNiro (Carl Van Loon). The action picks up quickly and keeps the audience engaged. With any drug there is usually a downside and this one includes an obvious chemical dependency and mental instability. Eddie starts going through withdrawals and is on the run to save his life.
The conclusion of the movie is a bit choppy with a "12 months later" graphic. A small compliment is given to Alan Glynn with the title of the book that Eddie's character writes, which gets published under the title "The Dark Fields". For the most part the movie was true to the book with the most obvious difference being the name change from Eddie Spinola to Eddie Morra. The other difference is the drug name MDT-48 in the book compared to NZT in the movie.
I may have a hangover from the dreadful "Red Riding Hood", but I am going to give this one 4 Quacks. After a week I am going to revise this back down to where it probably should be ... 3 Quacks. It is good and should be seen in the theater, but no need to rush out.
(screening date 3/9/11, release date 3/18/11, location AMC Loews Georgetown 14)