After toiling on television for years, Bradley Cooper graduated to the big screen with a number of credits that placed him in supporting and/or "best friend" roles. With the runaway success of The Hangover, Cooper leapfrogged from "character actor" to "marquee name," paving the way for movies like Limitless, in which he (not co-star Robert DeNiro) is the main draw. In a part that in no way recalls his work in The Hangover, Cooper is credible. The problem with the movie isn't the acting, it's the story, which falls considerably short of the promise of its premise. For a plot about super-intelligent people, the screenplay is surprisingly dumb.
Ironically, for Limitless to work, it is necessary for the viewer to reduce brain functioning. Even a little rudimentary thought about what's transpiring on screen will torpedo the movie's effectiveness, because basic logic doesn't apply. The holes aren't simply large enough to drive a truck through; they're so huge they could gobble up a planet. Neil Burger brings a flashy visual style to the movie, with some dazzling CGI-enhanced tracking shots that may cause monetary, strobe-like disorientation. At times, Limitless comes across like a synthesis of Wall Street and a superhero movie on acid. It may not be smart but it's never boring.
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