Bradley Cooper has taken Hollywood by storm. The local (from Abington, PA) heartthrob has seen his stock skyrocket since his 2009 comedic hit, The Hangover, generated millions of laughs across the country. Hence, on a rainy Thursday night, I couldn't miss an advanced screening of Cooper's latest feature, Limitless, and a brief Q & A with the actor afterward. Limitless is Cooper's first giant leap outside of the comedy genre, and something the actor views as a big deal. Refusing to be labeled as a one dimensional actor, the gifted Cooper felt the need to branch out and look for an edgy, new age script. And with the thriller Limitless, he sure found one.
Eddie Morra (played by Cooper) is a despicable, broke author living in the city slums. Don't worry, he even describes himself that way. The fact that he's a novelist under contract by a publishing company, although he hasn't written a word, doesn't even seem to motivate his lifestyle. Both physically and mentally, Eddie feels like a failure. Once divorced and newly single, Eddie happens to run into his ex-brother in law on the streets. When he tells Eddie about a pill he's starting to market that allows an individual to access every square inch of their brain, the struggling writer becomes intrigued. In fact, after he sees the effects of the little pill, he desperately obtains a large quantity of it. Leading to a life beyond his wildest imagination, Eddie must avoid the men hunting his supply and the pill's crippling physical effects.
Limitless may be the most difficult movie I've had to critique. It truly is a tale of two films. The movie's introduction and development of its premise is intriguing and entertaining. However, once Limitless begins to enter the body of the film, it begins to unravel. With countless head scratching scenes and a swiss cheese plot, director Neil Burger's thriller falls well short of its obvious potential. All in all, Limitless is a clever premise gone wrong.
Despite is numerous flaws, the film's acting certainly isn't one of them. Bradley Cooper has officially branched out from the comedy genre, and he's done so effectively. He's commendable illustrating Eddie Morra's metamorphosis from a deadbeat writer to a confident money-making machine. Robert De Niro gives a solid performance as well, and Limitless would have benefited from a larger role from the Hollywood legend. Furthermore, the dialogue is noteworthy and the script is well written. It's a shame that the final product doesn't quite live up to the sum of its parts.On entertainment value alone, Limitless is an adequate film. However, for anyone looking for the next revolutionary hit, the movie falls terribly short in that regard.