Limitless Movie Review
admovieso | April 4, 2012 | No comments
What trash this new movie is! Low budget thriller, “Limitless,” was picked up by Relativity Media as a sort of practice movie in hopes of picking up bigger movies in the future. Robert Di Niro’s work in this new movie release may ensure that this over-the-top, frantically paced thriller, will do all right at the box office – probably not well enough to make up the $26 million it cost after figuring ancillaries and foreign profits, but enough for a little back up for Bradley Cooper and for Relativity to save face.
Cooper plays Eddie Morra, a would-be writer from New York who’s going to be homeless if he can’t finish his novel. Unfortunately he hasn’t even written the first page! Things change when he runs into his brother-in-law, Vernon, played by Jonny Whitworth, who he hasn’t talked to in ages. Vernon says he’s no longer dealing drugs but selling legal pharmaceuticals. He gives Eddie a pill that he promises will take away his problems.
And this pill does miraculously make Eddie a genius. He can do anything and understand anything. But then the pill wears off. In movie picture “Limitless,” Eddie only needs one pill a day to keep up the pace. When Eddie asks Vernon for more pills it turns out that nothing about Vernon or the pills are legitimate. Then Vernon turns up dead and Eddie steals the pills – taking them for breakfast and turning into an instant stock market sensation. Miserable looking Eddie is changed into a smart-looking Wall Street sensation with an unnatural ability to pick stocks and work deals. Cal Van Loon, played by Di Niro, is one of the traders who take notice of Eddie’s talents. Di Niro is kind of a mashup of Warren Buffett and Carl Icahn and plans to do to Eddie what he did to Vernon if Eddie doesn’t give him the pills.
Eventually the pills in upcoming movie “Limitless” start having some miserable side effects and Eddie has to take stock of himself, an effort on the part of the filmmakers to legitimize this exploitative film. It’s a really weak premise and it’s not convincing. The movie is really about the fantasy of becoming an instant sensation without doing any work to get there. It’s about cheating life and getting away with it.
Leslie Dixon, producer and veteran screenwriter, has adapted this movie from a 2003 novel, “The Dark Fields,” written by Alan Glynn. “The Dark Fields” is quite upfront about being based upon “Jekyll and Hyde” and “Flowers for Algernon.” It’s even a little reminiscent of “The Bionic Woman.”
Director Neil Burger doesn’t seem to know or care that the material is corny. Some of the film is actually unintentionally comedic. However, “Limitless” is silly and boring but not unwatchable, although it certainly takes a backseat to Burger’s two previous films, “The Illusionist” and “The Lucky Ones.” Burger may do well with short term career opportunities but things don’t bode well for long term career success.
This movie is unlikely to either last long at the box office or to have much of an effect on the careers of anyone associated with it. It should also be a learning experience for Relativity.