If only we could access the full capacity of our brains, we'd be able to solve all our problems, right?
Of course, we'd have to contend with that teeny-weeny problem called ego, which has this nasty habit of getting in the way and causing more problems for us. Unless, that is, we can learn from our mistakes and figure out how to control Pandora's escaped demons – then life would just be peachy, right?!
In a few words, that's what Limitless is all about.
Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper), a struggling writer who had recently been dumped by his girlfriend, is in serious need of a good kick in the right direction to get his life to mean something.
Along comes the drug-dealing brother of his ex-wife and offers him a sample of a revolutionary drug that allows you to access the full capacity of your brain. Eddie goes into overdrive after taking the drug and proceeds to climb the power ladder of life – making enemies along the way – only to find that the only way of avoiding being consumed at the top is keeping a steady flow of the drug going.
But that's easier said than done of course – especially when the side-effects are quite debilitating.
Forget for a moment that the science is dodgy (the idea that we only use part of our brain power is a myth according to scientists), for the most part, Limitless is also a fairly predictable affair, despite running at a blistering pace (mimicking the way the drug allows you to process stimuli – geddit?) The only part of the film that one can't see a mile away is the ending and a disgustingly distasteful vampire-like scene.
Speaking of distasteful scenes, the movie has plenty of those – it's a rather seedy world that Eddie finds himself in and he seems to be as happy as a pig in mud in it. Although perhaps not a criticism of the film's merits as such, it's still imbued with the idea that a "successful" life is one that's all about the I.
Having watched the Blu-ray version of the film, there is very little one can find fault with in terms of the visual impact though. Limitless is a film of colour and deep textures – and Blu-ray brings that to the fore in spectacular detail.
As far as acting goes, you can't get much better than this either – Bradley Cooper owns his role with apparent ease, while Robert De Niro is perfectly cast in his understatedly dangerous way. Both actors carry the film, but the supporting cast also does an admirable job.
And yet, Limitless is a bit like what it must feel like to be on Ecstasy – everything is colourful, vibrant and running at full pace for sure, but it's tainted by a dangerous undercurrent that leaves you feeling stained when you finally come up for air.
The normal director commentary and a feature about casting Bradley Cooper in the leading role is really not all that interesting, but at least the alternate ending is worth watching – and might even be more feasible than the version that made the cut.