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Limitless (2011)

Film review: Limitless (2011), directed by Neil Burger

limitlessImagine you’re a bit of a loser, your partner has just dumped you, and you get your hands on a pill that upscales your brain function and intelligence by about a gazillion. Suddenly, you’re no longer procrastinating, but taking care of your stuff. And because you’re oh so clever, you start playing with the stock market, and do so very, very successfully. Suddenly, you have lots of money.

Problem is, the wonder drug might have side effects. Like pissing off the Russian mob, and blacking out, which means you suddenly don’t have an alibi for murder. That sort of thing.

Now imagine if the person who did this wasn’t you, but author Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper), with the guy who gave you the pill Eddie’s former brother-in-law (Johnny Whitworth), and that the partner that dumped you was Lindy (Abbie Cornish), and you’re set up nicely for the plot of this film.

Also starring Robert De Niro as Carl Van Loon, Anna Friel as Melissa, and Tomas Arana as the stalking man.

That we don’t use more than 10-20% of the brain is a complete misnomer. We do actually use all of it, just not at the same time. While we use around 10-20% at any one time, all 100% gets used eventually – it’s not just dead weight. If we were “firing on all cylinders at once”, our brains would be overloaded, much like a computer running at a constant CPU usage of 100%. It’s not good.

Aside from that, it’s an interesting premise for a thriller. What if there was a “smart pill” we could take? What would we do now that we were so much more efficient and clever? It’s anyone’s guess, and in there lies the allure. Although, they’d have to fix the formula to get rid of the nasty side effects first.

I thought it was a really good film, both chilling and intriguing at the same time. Anna Friel I really like as an actor, and Bradley Cooper … well, damn. It’s not for nowt he was voted the Sexiest Man Alive or something like that a few years ago. And of course, there is also Robert De Niro, who always delivers, stellar performer that he is. Solid film, would definitely watch again.

4 out of 5 mergers.

Traxy Thornfield

A Swedish introvert residing in Robin Hood Country (Nottingham, UK) with a husband and two cats. She's an eager participant in tabletop and play-by-post roleplaying, woodworking, photography and European travel, when there's not a plague on. Might get a novel out one of these days, if she doesn't get too distracted along the way.

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