One of the best themes to explore in movies is the one that looks to explore the limits of man morally. What would a man do if he could gain the whole world but lose his soul. Limitless starring Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro has its own take on the story, but is their take enough to keep filmgoers interested.
The film starts with Eddie Morra (C00per) standing at the top of a high rise about to plunge to his death. We get the background into how he started a loser who is doing well at losing when he stumbles on a wonder drug NZT which enables him to access areas of his brain that enable him to be somewhat advanced from the regular mortal. So from being a loser Eddie suddenly what he had struggled to start over months he is able to complete his book in days. From there he begins to exploit the capabilities and suddenly from a loser he is living life to the material heights. As well as that he enjoys living on the edge and pushing himself feeling that as the film title suggests, his abilities are limitless. He is also capable of doing physical moves to combat thugs and he is on top of his game. He moves into the financial world to make his mark and inn so doing gets involved with mob-type characters. His phenomenal abilities bring him to the attention Carl Von Loon (De Niro) a hugely successful businessman who seeks Morra’s skills to broker a huge merger deal.
In as much as all appears to be going well, it is completely dependent on his use of the wonder drug. So as a result when he begins to run out of the drugs things begin to take a turn for the worse and puts him and the life of his girlfriend Lindy (Abbie Cornish). With the stakes rising constantly and the pressure building the film looks at whether or not Eddie can beat the odds.
Pitched as a thriller the film does well to establish the basic themes in it and Cooper plays admirably well in the starring role. The story is somewhat lacking in terms of pace and character development. Unlike some other thrillers the feel of the film is somewhat flat. Even the use of special visual effects to display the added capabilities through the wonder-drug seem basic and more like an effort to show where the money was spent … and it was just kinda ‘feh’. Despite the action there isn’t a great deal of a sense of suspense in the film, which again is down to the pacing. As a result of the focus on Morra, other characters take somewhat of a back seat. De Niro’s character offers the nearest true threat to Cooper’s, but this is somewhat stymied by the end of the film.
These elements turn an interesting story into a somewhat moribund and inconsistently paced effort.