Wednesday, March 23, 2011
How many of us ever know what it is to become the perfect version of ourselves?
Looking back, I should have picked up on Bradley Cooper's potential as a star way back when I first saw him in Wet Hot American Summer. Rugged good looks, a great sense of humor, the twinkle in the eye that you see in all leading men, and most importantly the ability to be versatile in any role you are given. And despite being stuck in comedies for most of his career (save for a few films) Cooper has certainly gotten nothing but better in the last 10 years.
Limitless, the latest from Illusionist director Neil Burger, is picture proof of how good Cooper has gotten. Limitless lives or dies by Cooper's performance both on screen as well as in the numerous voice overs and inner monologues he delivers throughout the entire movie. If he didn't deliver on both, this film would have been dead on arrival. Acting's certainly not easy but being able to be convincing and entertaining while basically reading your lines out loud is certainly a challenge most actors can't live up to. But luckily Cooper's charm and charisma cut through any doubt and no matter what other problems may arise from this film, you always are entertained thanks to Cooper.
With his newfound powers Eddie becomes the perfect him. He's in shape, dresses well, looks clean, learns languages, martial arts and other talents and even manages to finish his book. But like every red blooded American he wants more. So he ups the dosage and decides to take on Wall Street. But when side effects start occurring and people start following him, maybe being the best him isn't the best decision after all.
The acting is a mixed bag but with more good then bad. I've already raved about Cooper enough but he is fantastic and a treat to watch the whole time. DeNiro, despite not having much depth, is good as well and does a good job with what he's given. He mixes intimidation, evil and kind quite well. It's kind of a throwback to his older roles. But that's where the praise ends. Everyone else either phones it in or gets swamped by Cooper/DeNiro. It's sad really when you think about it, but luckily you don't notice the bad that much unless you really go looking for it.
The only other thing worth noting is they do a tunnel effect multiple times during the movie (the longest being the opening credit sequence) and while cool at first, it gets annoyingly disorienting and I almost got nauseous. Just fair warning you might want to look away.
MY VERDICT: SEE IT