Created on Wednesday, 06 April 2011 00:00
Written by June Soon
Limitless, directed by Neil Burger (The Illusionist) and adapted from Alan Glynn's 2003 novel, The Dark Fields, features a common phase of life that most of us will eventually face – a period of stagnation in our work and/or life.
Struggling writer Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) suffers a prolonged period of writer's block, lives in a desolated apartment, looks like a hobo, and unsurprisingly gets dumped by his girlfriend. Now, pushed to the edge, some silly things commonly committed include petty crimes, drinking, and drugs. He chose the last option but that is not one common drug that gets you high. The NZT is a brain steroid that pushes the boundaries of the mind to "limitless".
Things turn around completely. He completes his long-paused masterpiece in a matter of days, master the piano in three days, and wins girlfriend Lindy (Abbie Cornish) back. He also moves into finance, dishing out advice to Wall Street bigwig Van Loon (Robert De Niro).
But there is no such thing as a free lunch. NZT comes with its side effects though they "can be controlled with responsible use". However, the real problem is that his stash is fast depleting and thugs (Andrew Howard) are after him for it too.
Cooper shoulders most of the film and stays likable throughout, with a few treasured touches by De Niro but much of the intellectually promising film is left unexplored and unexplained. Instead, it shapes the steroid out to be somewhat "moral" and understandable. And while Limitless entertains sufficiently in the suspense aspect, it also keeps to old-fashioned theatrics and filming, much to the disappointment of its namesake. You might also like: Ghost
, Perfect Rivals
, Gnomeo & Juliet