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FILM REVIEW: Limitless

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We are always told we never use our whole brain. But what if you could unlock all your intellectual potential just by taking a simple pill? Imagine being able to recall everything you have ever read, heard or learnt. Would a bigger IQ improve your life? Eddie Mora (Bradley Cooper) is about to find out.

So what does he do? Score a load of chicks and go mad on the stock market, of course, becoming a wining and dining squillionaire Wall Street guru in a matter of weeks. That is the American Dream after all, is it not? However, what goes up must come down, as Eddie soon realises.

Limitless marks Bradley Cooper's transition from ‘the hot guy from the Hangover’ to credible Hollywood leading man. Bradley's performance is strong and considered but there is definitely more to come; we haven’t seen the best he can do just yet. That’s not to say he didn’t come close, faultlessly shifting from the pathetic unshaven Eddie pre-NZT to the shrewd, self-assured Eddie post-NZT.

Bradley stands naturally next to Robert De Niro (Goodfellas) who plays the mega rich Wall Street head honcho, employing Eddie to deal with a major investment. De Niro’s performance is standard, we’ve seen it all before. Expectedly he plays it well but really, it’s just Robert De Niro playing the Robert De Niro role. Limitless is left unquestionably in the hands of Bradley Cooper.

From the opening credits, the plot does offer up some thought-provoking ‘would you’ questions: would money be your first instinct? Would you even take the pill in the first place? However, at times possibly you might think the script needs a little NZT injection, throwing up some pretty questionable historic facts. But with a script that moves at such an electric pace, you could be forgiven for not even noticing.  

So the execution is not exactly Christopher Nolan (Inception) in terms of visual effects, but Neil Berger's (The Illusionist) direction does offer up some fast paced, truly inventive and at times playful sequences, which give us an fully charged insight into Eddie’s stimulated brain. The end result might not match the slickness of David Fincher’s The Social Network but at least Limitless takes risks, no one could accuse Berger of playing safe.

Accusations that ‘Limitless is limited’ are unfair and just an excuse for a lazy pun. Ok, so it might not win any Oscars, but Limitless makes for a solid 105 minutes of sexy, fresh and cool entertainment, and you won’t even regret it in the morning.

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