De Niro and Cooper deliver in "Limitless"
Ingesting a chemical with the intent of bettering one's life is an intriguing concept that leads many Americans into doctors' offices with the hopes of a better tomorrow. This fascination was put to the extreme by the film "Limitless", a new thriller starring Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro. Cooper plays the role of Eddie Morra, a struggling alcoholic writer who acquires a rare untested pharmaceutical known as NZT. This drug allows one to access his or her entire brain at one time, as opposed to the typical theorized 20 percent.
Morra can suddenly outthink his way out of any predicament, the first being his poverty and social status which he tackles by writing a mind-blowing book in four days, and gains sudden affluence and prominence. He learns entire languages in minutes and speaks with an eloquence and confidence one could only dream of.
Although this substance allows him to manipulate the world for his own selfish needs, the side effects of the drug are revealed when he runs out. Director Neil Burger did an outstanding job and Jo Willems' cinematography was creative and original. The camera angles kept the film enticing with psychedelic visuals and animated sequences distributed throughout the film.
De Niro did a convincing job of portraying the genuine hard worker who had reached his renowned status through decades of effort and preparation. Cooper was excellent as both Eddie Morra personas: the washed up failed writer as well as the drugged out manic overachiever. Andrew Howard did well for his somewhat simplistic role of the macho Russian loan shark who after taking one NZT tablet from Morra proceeds to pursue him relentlessly, leading to some extremely intense moments that kept the entire theater gasping.
The drawback of "Limitless", which was rather bothersome, is that it endorsed the notion that drugs can improve one's life in such an extraordinary way. This implication is an irresponsible sentiment to convey, as it is far from the truth. First Charlie Sheen gets a worldwide following for glamorizing intravenous cocaine use and then a major motion picture emerges that essentially states if you're down and out, drugs can be a practical solution. Hopefully people see this prospect for what it is, a fantasy, which many have sought out to no avail.