Limitless is a film that I have been meaning to see for some time now, I missed its run in the cinema back in 2011 and there have simply been a lot of other titles that appealed to me more on DVD. Anyway my main motivation for watching this movie was due to the release of the new Scarlett Johansson film, Lucy. This movie comes out this weekend in the UK and from the trailers I just thought it looked very similar so I thought it would be beneficial for me to check it out.
Limitless started almost instantly, there was very little build up to the main plot and to me it all seemed very rushed. I think there needed to be more character development before the main story kicked in. Anyway the story is quite straightforward and I didn’t really feel like much happened. We follow Bradley Cooper’s character, Edward through his highs and lows whilst on this miracle drug, and that is really it. I think the main issue with this film is its length, it was way too short. There is not enough time to build any tension or suspense, I am guessing that the film makers wanted to replicate the rapidity of the drugs effects but for me it was all over before it really started. I also thought that the wrong plot points were focused on. About halfway through the movie both the viewer and Edward learn that he is a suspect in a murder case. I loved this and thought it was a fantastic turn for the film, however after this initial realisation this story line is pushed to the side. I would have loved to see this explored and it just annoyed me even more that you never found out whether or not Edward was in fact guilty.
Despite my qualms with the script there were elements of this film that I enjoyed. I do like the idea itself and once I re-read the plot online it does seem like it would be a really great movie. To go with this was a really slick soundtrack that suited the film well and helped to enhance my viewing experience. My favourite element of the script was how Edward was able to use memories that he didn’t even realise he had stored to help him in his present situation, this was demonstrated perfectly in a fight scene – I thought this was pretty cool. However apart from these elements I wasn’t really inspired by Limitless, okay the performances were good enough however I think the real issue lay with the character of Edward. I have already mentioned the lack of character development however this did contribute to a lack of interest in Edwards character, I just didn’t like him. I never really knew if I wanted him to get off the drug or if I wanted the drug to get the better of him. I don’t understand where we are meant to end up at the end of this movie, are we meant to happy for Edward that he has moved forward and seems to have mastered the drug, all while being aware that he is a murderer and responsible for several people’s deaths? I just didn’t buy it. Okay so I did quite enjoy the last scene which introduces an element of skepticism to the viewer as to whether or not Edward is actually off the drug but this final amusement wasn’t enough for me to rate the film highly.
Limitless has some nice performances and presents a great idea for a film however it manages to lose its way almost before it begins. A lack of character development and of running time means that the viewer can’t really engage with the movie, coupled with this was the exploration of the wrong story lines which makes for an unimpressive conclusion.
BIGGEST FLAW – Character development
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT – Great idea with some elements well presented
Rating – 5/10