Limitless – review
I’ve never watched a movie that made me want to be so productive. I came home at 2:30 in the wee hours after hanging with friends. I could’ve easily knocked out, but watching this movie just hours before gave me a jumpstart on the dead battery within – so I started writing. Basically, watching Limitless was like taking the pill itself.
From the song, Power, Kanye sings, “No one man should have all that power.” This song can be heard on some of the commercials for the movie. And I believe it’s true. Power can be taken for granted and can easily corrupt certain individuals as we see in the movie.
In the action-thriller (case study perhaps?) film directed by Neil Burger (The Illusionist), we see the effects of a fictional pharmaceutical drug called NZT that allows a person to use the entire brain instead of the supposed 20 percent. This premise provides for a fun, fast-paced, acid-trip, visually-stunning thrill ride. A struggling writer, Eddie Morra played by Bradley Cooper (The Hangover, He’s Just Not That Into You) runs into his ex-brother-in-law who gives him his first dose of a tiny, clear pill, known as NZT.
The way Limitless was shot, from the introduction to the credits, was cinematographically superb. Just by watching each scene, you can tell when Morra was on NZT or not. When he is “sober,” the shots were taken with a glum and washed out aura, like a faded pair of jeans. But once he popped the clear pill, the director made sure that colors were vivid, and the imagery was as crisp as a fresh $100 bill off the press. An innovative technique was used that I don’t recall seeing in any movie prior to Limitless. It consisted of a constant zooming in and moving forward, which put the audience behind the driving wheel of an NZT-user. It would have your inner hippie say, “Groovy, man!”
If it were up to me, I’d consider NZT to be a steroid. It does to the brain what “juice” does to muscles – enhances. The clear pill seems like an amazing drug, giving users clarity, focus, motivation and solutions to a better life. By activating the entire brain, Morra begins to have instant recall on information that he has only glimpsed at years ago to use it in a practical way. For instance, he got in a fight with several men and Morra’s brain instantaneously recalled Bruce Lee films and self-defense shows, which helped him prevail. His learning abilities skyrocketed, picking up many different languages and piano skills, as well as being extra confident and fearless. The potential really was limitless.
Morra began trading stocks and made millions in a short period of time, which caught the attention of business maven, Carl Van Loon played by Robert De Niro (Do I really need to list films? My fave: Heat). Morra uses his super brain to analyze Van Loon’s businesses in order to gain more profit with an impending mega-merger. While people are out for Morra and his stash, he deal with his own drug dependency issue.
Although this is only a movie, Limitless showed me that the brain is capable of anything. If we put our mind to it, we can do it.