MOVIE: **** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Bradley Cooper plays a down-and-out writer who discovers a miracle drug that unlocks his brain’s full potential. However, once he gets on the drug and improves his life 100 fold, he discovers there are side effects to the drug if you stop taking it. Soon, he finds himself in a problem he might not be able to think his way out of, with several people hunting him for different reasons.
WHAT I LIKED
When I first saw the ads for “Limitless” in the theaters, I was unimpressed. After all, it just seemed like a silly story to me, and one I’ve seen in different forms before. However, like any good film, the proof comes in the execution, and director Neil Burger executes the film incredibly well.
Cooper shines in this role, and I’m not just talking about his striking blue eyes. He shows that he can carry a film on his shoulders and not just play a supporting character to Owen Wilson in something like “Wedding Crashers” or as a leg in a tripods of unknowns a la “The Hangover.” He’s a good looking guy, so that works for the ladies, but there’s also a spark behind his pretty face that makes the average viewer not just relate to him but also root for him.
The spring of 2011 was a time of fantastic speculative fiction in the form of original movies, and “Limitless” was part of that run, with other films like “Source Code” and “The Adjustment Bureau” doing the same. Not quite science fiction, “Limitless” is presented as a neat “what if” story in the context of everyday living.
In addition to tight direction and a courage to explore the darker side of humanity, Burger tries out some edgy imagery. It starts with the opening continuous shot along New York’s streets, and it continues with the effective change in lighting, saturation and color once any character takes the drug. This makes “Limitless” not just a cool film to watch, but a cool film to see.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
I’ll be honest… there’s not much I didn’t like about this movie. It leaves a couple loose ends here and there, but considering the character is a super genius not unlike Wile E. Coyote, I can imaging there are plenty of ways he could have tied those up off-screen.
The Blu-ray comes with a digital copy disc for portable viewing. The main disc also includes two versions of the film: the theatrical cut and the extended cut. However, with no difference in running time, there’s not much of a difference that I saw.
Bonus features include audio commentary by director Neil Burger and an alternate ending to the film (which, when watched, demonstrates why it wasn’t chosen as the main ending). There are also two behind-the-scenes featurettes: “A Man Without Limits” and “Taking It To the Limit: The Making of Limitless.”
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Fans of speculative fiction, and any lady mesmerized by Bradley Cooper’s eyes.