Cooper is a washed up, depressed writer living in New York. After a chance meeting with his ex-wife's brother (who is doing visibly better than he is), he is told a pill can instantly make his life better. Needless to say he takes the pill, and unlocks a part of his brain he never used before. Every single memory, even the slightest thing he's seen in his life, can now be used productively to make his existence completely different from what he's known before - and him very rich. But there's a catch; he can never stop taking the pills and he's running out fast - he's also being incessantly followed by a sinister henchman and some Russian gangsters.
A little bit more exposition, some fine tuning and Limitless could've been a that rare beast; a cerebral blockbuster. It's not the logic that you can pick holes in, more the decisions a supposed genius now makes - the first of which is borrowing money from a dodgy Russian gangster, then not paying him. The romantic subplots - involving Anna Friel and Abbie Cornish - are given little in the way of depth, with Friel's existence only justified to warn of the dangers of the pill. Cornish has absolutely nothing to do.
There is a lot of good things going on here, too. De Niro's billionaire has a cracking monologue about crawling his way to the top - it's the best thing he's done in years, however small. Some of the stylistic choices are impressive; the extensive zooms through Manhattan to simulate jumped time are smartly done, and well executed. While Cooper is perfectly cast and excellent when portraying both the successful and degenerative aspects of his guy. Above all else, though, it's just a cracking idea for a story.
A strong concept elevated by slick direction and an excellent lead, Limitless suffers from a barrage of plot holes, but it's still worth seeing.
Story by Mike Sheridan | 09:00 | Friday 15th July 2011 | DVD review
Was afraid of this one, but pleasantly surprised. Not near as daft as I thought it might be. Quite clever, stylish, gritty and more grown up than expected. Good delivery and I see Cooper had a part in production to his credit. 8.5/10Posted 11:35 | Wed 3rd Aug 2011
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