Rating: PG-13 and Unrated
Bradley Cooper as Eddie Morra
Robert De Niro as Carl Van Loon
Abbie Cornish as Lindy
Andrew Howard as Gennady
Anna Friel as Melissa
Johnny Whitworth as Vernon Gant
Robert John Burke as Pierce
Tomas Arana as the Man in the Tan Coat
Darren Goldstein as Kevin Doyle
Directed by Neil Burger
Audio Commentary with Director Neil Burger
A Man Without Limits
Taking It To The Limit: The Making Of Limitless
5.1 Dolby Digital Sound
Spanish and French Subtitles
Running Time: 105 Minutes
The following is the official description of the film:
“What if a pill could make you rich and powerful?
Bradley Cooper (‘The A-Team’) and two-time Academy-Award winner Robert De Niro star in this provocative and action-packed thriller with unlimited surprising twists. Eddie Morra (Cooper), a burnt-out writer, discovers a top-secret pill that unlocks 100% of his brain’s capacity. He instantly acquires mind-bending talents and mesmerizing visions that bring him big money, beautiful women and limitless success. But his dream life soon becomes a waking nightmare, as the drugs brutal side effects take their toll and Eddie finds himself entangled with a cunning Wall Street power broker (DeNiro) who wants everything Eddie has… and more.”
“Limitless” is rated PG-13 for thematic material involving a drug, violence including disturbing images, sexuality and language.
There are a lot of cool aspects to “Limitless.” First of all, you have the plot point of the entire human mind being unlocked to its full potential. What would that entail? According to this movie, you would be sharper, more focused, and more motivated. You could have total recall of all of your memories and learn at an accelerated rate. You could also see the complex relationships in the financial world, the physical world, and the emotional world. And the list goes on. Now what would a person do with all of that potential and, more importantly, how could it turn on them? “Limitless” explores all of that and it’s a fun ride as it does so.
Another interesting aspect of “Limitless” is that of drug addiction. Eddie starts out taking the drug and eventually becomes addicted to it. The story then follows that dark path as the addiction costs Eddie his health, his security, and his relationship with Lindy. While most drug addiction stories are hard to relate to because many of us have never taken drugs, “Limitless” makes it a bit easier to identify with the addict. It makes him feel better, becomes more successful, and fulfill all of his dreams. When seen from this point of view you start to realize why it might be so difficult to kick a drug habit and why it’s so hard to see the destruction it is causing until it’s too late. This makes it an interesting twist on a familiar story.
Finally you have Bradley Cooper as Eddie Morra. He really shines in this role. You believe his transformation from aspiring writer to hotshot businessman. You also believe him as an unfocused loser or a man filled with knowledge and confidence. You understand how he could be sucked into using the drug and you still root for him even when he’s obviously making costly decisions. He’s just a likable leading man. He’s well supported by Robert De Niro as Carl Van Loon and Abbie Cornish as Lindy.
The cinematography is an interesting mix. When Eddie is off the drug, all of the colors are muted and dull. When he’s on the drug, everything is brighter and more focused. It’s a visually engaging technique that serves the story well. However, things get a tad trippy on occasion and the camera does endless zooms into the cityscape and Eddie has hallucinations brought on by the drugs. But those bizarre scenes are thankfully brief.
The only other criticism I’d give “Limitless” is the fact that it ends on a kind of unsatisfying note. Everything wraps up a little too cleanly and neatly. I can’t discuss it further without getting into spoilers, but I will say that though the destination is a slight disappointment, the ride is worthwhile.
If you’re a Bradley Cooper fan or if you like thrillers, I’d suggest you check out “Limitless.” It’s a fun, smart story that probably deserves more attention than it got in theaters.
On the DVD you’ll find both the theatrical version and unrated version of the film. I believe the unrated version has a brief scene of boobs and a tad more bloody violence. Otherwise it’s not that different from the theatrical version. There’s also an alternate ending that’s a bit more disappointing than the theatrical ending. In it Eddie decides to simply wean himself off the drug and hope his problems go away before the credits roll. This is another case where the theatrical ending was the better way to go. Also included are a couple of brief ‘making of’ videos and an audio commentary.