It will come to no surprise, to confess, that I do not like Bradley Cooper. As of yesterday, I do not care that he was voted People’s “Sexiest Man Alive 2011”. My dislike for him can be traced back when I first watched Alias. I hated him as Sydney’s (Jennifer Garner) friend Will Tippon because this character couldn’t get Sydney so he had to settle to be her “friend” (hits a little to close to home if you know what I mean). Screw The A-Team remake as I never watch the original series to begin with. So, why in the hell am I writing about Limitless with Bradley Cooper? In fairness, the only thing that I enjoyed watching Bradley was in was The Hangover. After watching Limitless on Netflix, I need to revise that last statement. I really liked Bradley Cooper in Limitless.
Like with many movies that première throughout the year, if the timing is off or the trailer does not sell the movie, it premieres one week – gone the next. Having seen the trailer, I was interested in the concept but Bradley was in it. Plus, when it came out, I think I had to grow some hair…somewhere so I was kinda busy. Thankfully, Netflix (you still suck and not out doghouse yet) plays this movie eight months later. I thought I really had nothing to lose other than my time but then again, I was laid off recently so time was something I had plenty to spare.
A writer discovers a top-secret drug which bestows him with super human abilities.
Bradley Cooper plays that writer Eddie Morra. When we first meet Eddie, we see him about ready to jump off a roof. There is banging on a steel bolted door which has something to do with Eddie. He narrates to about his four digit IQ and how close he was to having a real impact on the world. We then flashback to when Eddie was not on top of his game or for that fact, Eddie had no game. While he claims to be a writer, he has not written a single word even. His then girlfriend Lindy, decides to leave him as she is just tired of being everything to him including a bank. In the course of the breakup, we quickly learn Eddie was briefly married and quickly divorced. Lindy just got a promotion and wanted to move on with her life without him. Eddie is beyond sad and pathetic. To look at him, one would think he was either homeless, a drug addict, or mentally deficient or all of the above. Everything about his world is about as gray and lifeless as the concrete sidewalks he travels on; reminded me of my favorite literally character Ethan Frome.
After being dumped, Eddie has a chance encounter with his former/ex brother-in-law Vernon. The two go for a drink where, Eddie learns that has not been kind to his ex-wife Melissa. Her new husband had left her with two kids. Vernon quickly changes the subject to find out the book Eddie has tried to write. Eddie fails miserably to spark any passion within himself to even BS his way out of this situation. Vernon on the other hand, has upgraded his dealing past with a new designer drug NZT. As the old saying goes, the first taste is free and hands Eddie a small bag of NZT which is a small dot of a clear pill. The promise of the pill will allow you to use 100% of your brain capacity. The results are not just amazing it’s freakin’ incredible. I connected to this idea when I first tried a 5 hour energy, Red Bull, or a Monster Energy drink. I had this incredible surge of energy and a boost than made me and the day just fly by. As with any drug, the beneficial side effects will wear off and you need another boost. Eddie using the NZT brought color back in his world and suddenly he knew what needed to be done and how he needed to go about doing it. This is as far as I will go in revealing the plot. You’ll need to watch the rest of the movie.
Overall, the scifi concept is solid because it’s closely grounded to reality. Check out the fake NZT website which resembles many of today’s drug makers own sites (nice marketing). There is great cinematography and editing which dazzles us with eye candy when Eddie is on a NZT high. Director Neil Burger had directed The Illusionist with Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti and Jessica Biel (highly recommended) plus a kick as Phillip Glass score. Going back to Limitless, Burger really delivers the emotional connection to great premise. Eddie is just like a lot of guys I know, including myself at times, where there is a certain level of expectations for each of us to succeed in life. We need to get the education, get the career, get the money, and get the great other half to live happily ever after. Anything short of that, we have failed to realize a tenth of our potential. Being unemployed now feels same way. Ultimately, I to want to write for comics and screenplays and yet… I have not started the very thing I wanted to do for the longest time like Eddie. It is a credit to Burger’s direction and Cooper’s acting to make me feel easily connected to Eddie and live vicariously through him and his success as he can master anything and everything with ease. Yes, life would be easier with all we had to do was just take a small clear pill.