Tuesday, November 22, 2011
There are few people who could not be convinced to give Limitless a try, and even fewer who would not be entertained by it. It's a rousing, flashy, well-acted, fun time at the movies. There's something very captivating and alluring about the initial premise of a man who takes a pill allowing him to use his entire brain (according to the film, we only use 20 percent of it). The potential for crafting a dynamite story out of this is great, and Limitless mostly delivers. It does everything it needs to do while keeping a wide audience in mind. True, perhaps it substitutes some potentially profound ideas for action scenes, but at least those scenes are flashy and full of life. There's one riveting chase sequence in Central Park that makes great use of its surroundings, including some massive rocks any New Yorker will be familiar with. I liked all the movie's stars, especially Bradley Cooper as the lead, and Robert De Niro, who, with this and Stone, has regained a bit of lost respect. And I liked that the film did not preach about drugs when it could have. The entire film seems to be leading to a cheesy statement about the dangers of addiction, yet it ultimately shoves these matters aside, and rightly so. Such a flashy package barely has the right to teach a lesson. We have Requiem for a Dream for that. One must admit that that in the end it'll be the plot of the movie that's remembered more than the film itself. People may say, "remember Limitless?" "Yeah, that's the one where the guy takes the pill and gets really smart." And it'll end there. But it's fun while it lasts.