Limitless (2011) starring Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Abbie Cornish, Andrew Howard, Anna Friel, Johnny Whitworth directed by Neil Burger Movie Review

Limitless (2011)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Bradley Cooper as Eddie Morra in Limitless (2011)

Smart Phony

"Limitless" is a popcorn movie, a style ride of thrills, action and comedy with Bradley Cooper up front which never challenges just entertains. Ironic really when you consider the concept of "Limitless" is a drug which makes people super smart yet to enjoy the movie you have to disengage your brain so that the idocracy of a smart person doing something stupid doesn't annoy you. It's not a moan because "Limitless" is what it is, a movie which takes an interesting idea and makes it main stream entertaining for the masses that will enjoy seeing Bradley Cooper with blue eyes or a bit of fancy, snappy action combined with CGI.

Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper - The A-Team) is a writer, a writer with writers block and a deadline to meet and to add to his woes his girlfriend Lindy (Abbie Cornish - Stop-Loss) has basically dumped him for being a waster. But his life is turned completely upside down when he bumps into Vernon (Johnny Whitworth - Empire Records), his ex brother-in-law, who gives him an experimental drug called NZT and suddenly every cell in his brain is firing at 100%, recalling any tit bit of information that he has seen no matter how briefly. Soon life is great for Eddie as he finishes the book, smartens up, starts making more money that seems feasibly possible and wins Lindy back. But there are dark clouds on the horizon as not only does NZT have some dangerous side effects but someone else wants his secret stash of drugs.

Robert De Niro as Carl Van Loon in Limitless (2011)

"Limitless" is a movie which could have been a really clever movie full of intrigue and twists which made you think hard as it played out. But instead what we get is a clever idea dumbed down to be an entertaining thriller where twists are underplayed and the focus is on style over substance. That isn't to say there isn't any substance, the way the story unfolds and we establish various connections between people is semi clever but all these moments are about the look rather than the consequences of what is learned.

So that means "Limitless" is all about the simple entertainment from a dishevelled looking Bradley Cooper getting a make over to the piercing blue eyes when he is high on NZT. It is all about the look, the moments he bangs out the book he is meant to be writing, working many terminals as he trades stocks or recalls the fighting movies he once watched when he ends up in a fight. And in fairness it works, "Limitless" is entertaining at this simple level as long as you have disengaged your brain so that you don't question why someone who is supposed to be so super smart does so many super stupid things.

What this also means is that "Limitless" is all about Bradley Cooper as Eddie Morra be it as the dishevelled version of the smooth braniac who turns girls on with his smile, charisma and amazing ability to remember anything. To be honest this isn't a movie which stretches Cooper, turning on the charm is what he is good at as well as doing a few action sequences but he does it so well that there is nothing to moan about. In fact the only thing I have to moan about is when Robert De Niro, in a supporting role, delivers one of his squinty smile looks at the end of the movie, is it meant to be dramatic or comedic, I don't know but it seems out of place for the cool character he plays.

What this all boils down to is that I liked "Limitless" it was an entertaining action, thriller which whilst pretending to be clever was in fact quite daft. But don't let that put you off because if what you want is a handsome star, flashing a grin and blue eyes whilst turning on the charm it works.