Saturday, April 16, 2011

A 'Superhero Pill' Story


1. Title : Limitless
2. Release date : 18 March 2011 (United States), 14 April 2011 (Malaysia)
3. Director : Neil Burger
4. Starring :
Bradley Cooper
Robert De Niro
Abbie Cornish
5. Language : English
6. Genre : Action / Thriller
7. Official website : Limitless

What would you do if you were given a 'chance' to improve yourself and be a different, better person? Wait, let me rephrase; a 'chance' to improve yourself and be a super different and better person? Would you consider the side effect first or would you simply take it no matter what?

Okay, whatever answer you have in mind, do not say it until you have finished reading this.

A writer named Eddie Mora (Bradley Cooper) suffered from writer's block and he was really troubled by that. Then, by chance he had a visit from the past, a friend (ex-brother-in-law to be exact) who presented him a pill that would give him everything he could possibly imagine. Reluctantly, he tried it...and immediately changed into a totally different person despite being the same. How? Well, if your brain is capable of producing only a few sentences with Rebecca Black level of vocabulary, nothing more - with that pill, you are Shakespeare and Da Vinci combined, with 100 brains each. But you are still you.

This movie started with the beginning and development of Eddie's life, told in a form of a series of flashbacks from his own points of view. From an almost loser to a really powerful and intelligent figure, I could feel that the plot could perform really well. When the director played a lot with the lighting and camera tricks in order to show the changing perspectives involved in the protagonist's mind, it looked promising. Then, added with the idea of a drug that could make anybody become a powered-up individual, it got better. With NZT-48, Eddie could explore every part and muscle of his brain, remember and learn everything he got exposed to, including martial arts from TV programmes he watched years ago. He became godlike.

But as I thought the movie was supposed to be super great, I was proven wrong. It did not turn out how I thought it would be. This movie lacks emotions for sure, but it also lacks creativity. A drug with a life-threatening side effect? Boring. A nobody gains something unusual and becomes somebody? Heard of. It is really disappointing when an idea of this caliber turns out to be so predictable and standardized. Despite its superhero-ish and unique storyline, 'Limitless' is so weak that it does not have what it takes to be extraordinary.

About the question earlier, I bet your subconscious answer would be "simply take it no matter what" even though you consciously say "consider the side effect first". And that is what you are going to do with 'Limitless'.

Rating: 6/10

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