The thing about this movie is that I never felt bored.  That’s important because unlike some movies that are very focused on a single character, causing to that character to be central to every scene, I never felt tired of our hero in Limitless.

The lead actor in question here is Bradley Cooper who plays Eddie Morra.  Morra is a struggling writer living a pathetic New York lifestyle.  He’s semi-drunk, has no money and his girlfriend is about to break up with him. A chance encounter with his ex-brother-in-law leads him to be introduced to a drug that allows him to think at a super-human rate.

This not only affects Eddie’s character but the whole film cinematically.  The colors are brighter, the lights seem to be suddenly on, and the camera appears to be more in focus once Eddie takes the drug.

The film deals with drugs, addiction, side effects and the dark side of chemical dependency. Much of the story could have been inspired by anecdotes of cocaine using Wall Street brokers in the 80’s.

This is Bradley Cooper’s first role as a leading man.  While he has stolen nearly every scene in which he has appeared, in movies like The A-Team and The Hangover, he has never had to carry a whole film.  However, he does it quite adeptly here. Even with Robert DeNiro entering late in the second act, Cooper is not outshone. DeNero brings with him an incredible resume, and Cooper hangs with him as an actor, step-for-step.

The rest of the cast is there for support.  In fact in a fair number of scenes their absence is somewhat confusing, especially Eddie’s girlfriend Lindy (Abbie Cornish) who is conveniently left out of some pivotal scenes in favor of more focus on Cooper.

Critics will find flaws with this character/action film only by over-thinking it. Yes, there are plot holes, but focusing on those will ruin your experience with this movie. Also, narration is usually a sign of lazy writing, here it does a service to the viewer by keeping the pace of the movie from slowing too much. It is debatable weather the narration is over-done, but for the most part it fits.

On the other side of the film the cinematography and special effects, while not driving the film, do provide some interesting, and quite fitting eye candy.

This movie, does reward the viewer with a great ending.  After the heart-pounding climax, we get to the resolution. That, in itself, could have been a great short film.  It feels like the movie is starting over again with a whole new set-up and rising action.  Just as you start to think this movie is being drug out too far, you are in the middle of a whole new three-act short story.  The last five or so minutes  don’t make the film, but they do make it better.

Limitless is a character film, disguised as a suspense film. It doesn’t rely on explosions and special effects, but it does make good use of them. It may not have you on the edge of your seat, but it will have keep you from checking your watch.  And in the end isn’t that what’s really important about movies?Follow me on twitter:

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