Neil Burger’s Limitless is the sort of film that just gets by. Bradley Cooper stars as Eddie Mora, who’s given a wonder pill that makes him super smart, but comes with a catch. As he makes piles of money, can he do the drug and not lose his mind? There’s a lot of good ideas in Limitless, and a lot of it cleverly executed, but the pieces are often more interesting than the whole. Abbie Cornish and Robert De Niro co-star in this modest hit. Our review of the Blu-ray of Limitless follows after the jump.
The film starts with Cooper’s character Eddie Mora about to kill himself, which is a good starting point for a film like this. Eddie narrates, and the film slathers the film in narration to the point that it nearly drowns. He’s a down-on-his-luck writer with a life going nowhere when a chance encounter gets him a taste of the unnamed drug. When Mora uses it, it allows him to start his book, get a lady in the sack, and all sorts of other cool things. When he goes back for more, the person he got it from is murdered. But Eddie finds the stash, and begins taking it all the time. As such, he figures out he’d rather be super wealthy, so he turns borrowed money into billions. This gets him the attention of Carl Van Loon (Robert De Niro), who hires him to help set up a big deal.
But what Eddie wants – besides money – is his old girlfriend back, Lindy (Abbie Cornish). And he’s able to get her back, but then he has to confront the drug’s side effects. Like blacking out and hving sex with strangers, and maybe murdering people, and then there’s the withdrawal that leaves him powerless. On top of that there’s the Russian he borrowed money from who’s not the sucker Eddie thought he was. He can smell something good.
There’s enough of a hook here to make this skate by, because you can invest enough in the idea of it, while still maybe not totally liking the lead character. Bradley Cooper can be something of a douchebag, and if you don’t like him, it’s to Limitless’s credit that the film is still entertaining. The problem with it is that you know where it has to go for a lot of its moves (there’s got to be a withdrawal because it’s a drug, and there’s got to be some form of comeuppance or moral for the main character to learn) because you’ve seen it before, but for the most part the film tries to steer clear of the worst of the genre’s conceits. Alas, it doesn’t really know how to end, so it tries to wrap things up in a way that just ticks off what needs to be.
But, overall it’s a smooth ride that’s entertaining to sit through and evaporates shortly after watching. But there’s no hangover. So that works.
The Blu-ray also comes with a digital copy and it’s presented in widescreen (2.35:1) and in DTS-HD 5.1 surround. This looks pretty kick ass. The film is available in the theatrical (PG-13) cut and the unrated version –which has nudity in it and runs forty seven seconds longer. The film comes with a solid commentary by director Neil Burger, who walks through the shooting of the film, and a making of called “Taking it to the Limit” (12 min.), and a featurette called “A Man without Limits (4 min.). There’s also a modestly different “alternate ending” (5 min.) included, along with the film’s theatrical trailer.