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Monday, March 28, 2011

Quick Review: Limitless

Bradley Cooper was definitely the right second choice for "Limitless," much of which was filmed right here (although it takes place in New York). I read the Wikipedia entry for the movie (as I usually do, to refresh my memory about names and places and such when I write these things), and it says that Shia LaBeouf was originally going to star. I don't think that would have worked at all. Cooper plays Eddie Morra, something of a loser. His apartment's a mess, he's barely started on the book that's overdue to be turned into his publisher, and his girlfriend Lindy (Abbie Cornish) has just dumped him. Then he runs into the brother of his ex-wife, a drug dealer who offers Eddie a sample of a new drug that's supposed to increase your brain's efficiency to the extreme. Eddie tries it, and it works! He cleans his place and writes a bunch of pages of his book. Problem one: it doesn't last too long, and when Eddie visits his ex-brother-in-law he finds the guy murdered. He finds a stash of the drug and some cash, and remakes his life completely, getting his girl back and making stock transactions that draw the attention of a shady tycoon (Robert DeNiro). Problem two: the drug has side effects, one of which is a lapse in memory, and he may have killed a woman during one such blackout. Problem three: Russian mobsters are after him, as is another mysterious man. It's a little preposterous, and the tacked-on additional ending (the one where Cooper, DeNiro, etc. were reportedly brought back here to film) is even more so. Cooper really shows some range, though, going from down-and-out, confused mess to sharp-witted, borderline arrogant success. The movie's worth it just for that (and one shirtless scene) -- Shia LaBeouf couldn't have pulled this off. My grade: B-minus.

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