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Review

‘The Hangover’ star Bradley Cooper shines in ‘Limitless’

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April 1, 2011

Bradley Cooper has had a massive rise of success in the film industry since his role in “The Hangover,” but is he able to pull off a more serious performance in “Limitless?” Cooper plays Eddie Mora, a writer in a slump who runs into his ex-brother-in-law that has a drug that can help Eddie dig deep into his mind. This mysterious drug opens up the large percentage of our brains that we are unable to access, but now Eddie can. With this new train of thought Eddie turns almost super human as he is now able to remember everything he has either heard or seen. Once the high wears off Eddie realizes that he must get more. 

After he gets his hands on more of the drug, NZT, he has a meteoric rise to the point where he is working on Wall Street and is making millions of dollars in mere weeks. His life is on such a high that there is only so much more he can do before his world comes crashing down on him. He soon meets Carl Van Loon (Robert DeNiro) who wants Eddie to help make a merger between Van Loon and another top corporate business head that would be the biggest the world has ever seen. At this point Eddie runs out of his stash of drugs, gets his ex-girlfriend involved in his messed up life and messes with a gangster who will do anything to get more NZT.

It may have seemed like I summed up the downfall of the movie quickly, and that is because I did. In “Limitless,” there is a lot of emphasis on the rise of the struggling writer, but the fall quickly culminates in a few action sequences that help turn this pretty good thriller into a bad action movie. 

“Limitless” is good for one reason, Bradley Cooper. He is wonderfully cast as a smart, funny guy that you can’t help but cheer for even though not everything he is doing is right. He had me sucked in from the opening credits until the screen went black. The thriller aspect works but sometimes the film has awkward camera angles that cut a little too often so you are really unable feel what you are watching on screen. 

I just realized I forgot to mention DeNiro and the rest of the supporting cast, well that is because they were underutilized and practically non-existent in this movie. DeNiro’s character is one sided as a plain jane business man with no real devious side to him. You don’t get to see the legendary DeNiro at his best here, not even close. Also Cooper’s relationship with his ex-girlfriend Lindy (Abbie Cornish) is built to about the minimalist standard a connection between two romantic characters can be. Overall, “Limitless” has an original story that works well with a few back stories that don’t. Why did they not explain anything about the gangster who steals Eddie’s NZT? I don’t know either.

Dustyn Dubuque is a history major and geography minor that has a love and passion for film. He watches over 100 films each year and loves Academy Awards season.