Neil Burger's stylish directing and good acting from Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro can't quite redeem the plotting choices in Limitless—which are the fault either of the screenwriter, or whichever executive mugged the screenwriter to get him to make the changes. The picture starts out with an interesting premise. Cooper is a wannabe novelist who can't get his life together. After his girlfriend dumps him, he bumps into his ex-wife's dealer brother. Takes a pill that enhances his intelligence. All cool, original stuff... different characters... must've come out of the novel by Alan Glynn (I'm guessing; I haven't read it).
But after that... well, all Cooper really does with his big brain is make more money and get more girls. Sure, that's what you'd start out with, but I bet that would get dull after a while. Plus I bet you'd get corrupted and start making some bigger and badder choices.
But the script never goes there and you can almost hear the script conference meetings: we don't want the hero to become unlikeable... we don't want to offend... there could be some really cool fight scenes...
As a result, while the picture is watchable, it's small and full of missed chances. Plus I'd like to know about a couple of major plot points the resolutions of which seem to have ended up on the cutting room floor.
You won't be bored watching this. Then you'll forget it ever happened.
Article printed from Klavan On The Culture: http://pjmedia.com/andrewklavan
URL to article: http://pjmedia.com/andrewklavan/2011/10/19/1093