Get ready to go on a drug binge this weekend with director Neil Burger’s adaptation of the Alan Glynn novel, Limitless starring Bradley Cooper as a drugged up NZT addict. I received an NZT pill a while ago with a key containing an ad with Bradley Cooper selling NZT — I have yet to try it, but if the experience is anything like it is in the film, it could be fun! Find out more about the film below…
- Director: Neil Burger
- Writer: Leslie Dixon (screenplay) and Alan Glynn (novel)
- Actors: Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Abbie Cornish, Andrew Howard, Anna Friel
- Original Music by: Paul Leonard-Morgan and Nico Muhly
- Cinematography by: Jo Willems
A paranoia-fueled action thriller about an unpublished writer whose life is transformed by a top-secret smart drug that allows him to use 100% of his brain and become a perfect version of himself. His enhanced abilities soon attract shadowy forces that threaten his new life in this darkly comic and provocative film.
- Visuals: You could tell that someone knew that just telling this story wasn’t going to be enough, it was how they were going show it that would sell it. The visuals in this film take it from indie drama, to intense, action, thriller. From the great use of lighting (which is a great example as to why DPs and Gaffers are so important), to the effects, to taking a simple shot of him cleaning his apartment and making it interesting; they did a good job of taking a story about a character on drugs and making it visually interesting. Though some of the shots were excessive (the letters falling all around him as he writes) the overall effects were something that really helped keep the pace of the film going during those plot building moments and give the audience that “something more” they’re always looking for.
- Surprising Moments: There are a number of surprising moments that come out of people acting like real people in an extraordinary situation. Despite the fact that this film is basically a fantasy, they managed to ground the character. As a result, the bigger moments were more surprising and had more impact on the audience.
- Dark Sense of Humor: This is something that’s hard to sell to mainstream audiences because often times people just “don’t get it” or it falls flat. They did a great job of balancing the darkness in this film and bringing out the humor in seemingly unfunny situations. It was surprising to see them take such bold risks throughout the film and then make jokes about it, but it kept you engaged in the film and the characters.
- Over Voice-Overed: I remember a scriptwriting teacher telling me “never write voice-overs unless you have to” — now this film was fast paced enough and they used the voice-overs well enough that about 80% of them were great and actually added some much desired emotion or humor to the film. But, there were a few times that it felt like there was unneeded explanations that made you feel like certain ideas were being forced on you.
- The Ugly Girl: His ex-wife (played by the beautiful Anna Friel) appears in the beginning of the film, looking like her charming self, and later on they meet up and he’s supposed to not be recognize because of how bad she looks. Though she limps after the first scene, she basically just looks like Anna Friel without make-up on, some obvious bad lighting and a horrible sweater – from his reaction I’d expect her skin to the falling off and her nose to be missing. For such a dark film, I was surprised they didn’t get more ugly!
- Lots of Pieces to the Puzzle: And not all of them tied together. Though they all add up, they’re not necessarily all needed. Some of the trips around the world driving fancy cars and jumping off cliffs, though fun to watch and undoubtedly will entertain audiences didn’t really help the story, it just made it a more pretty picture. Again, it’s not bad, it’s just kind of obvious fluff in a film with a lot of actual substance.
This is one of those films that didn’t leave me overly excited as I walked out of the theater BUT it was a fun ride while I was in it and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a slightly edgy, humorous, action packed ride, with a bit of social commentary that goes well with popcorn. It’s definitely a great escape movie for those of you needing to be distracted from… whatever you need to be distracted from.
See Limitless in theaters March 18th!