Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What If You Could Be The Best Version Of Yourself?

It's been my experience that Hollywood has difficulty in creating movies about how someone with a genius level intellect processes the world, and I can understand why. After all, how can you accurately convey to non-genius people how a genius thinks? How does a non-genius writer put into words how a genius interprets the world?  To get around this, most movies & tv shows have that "moment of epiphany", where the genius just "Gets It" and then spends the next few minutes explaining stuff to everyone else. Or, they take a different tack and focus on the genius' issues in relating to the people around them, either emotionally or through pop culture. So when I heard about "Limitless", a movie where someone BECOMES hyper intelligent, it immediately piqued my interest. 

"Limitless" is about a writer named Eddie Morra (played by Bradley Cooper), who is given a pill that unleashes the full potential of his intelligence. Walking into the film, I was very excited to see how they would portray the transition from normal to hyper intelligent. And, I'm pleased to say the movie did not disappoint at all. The director, Neil Burger, did an excellent job walking the audience through Morra's experiences. From subtle color palate manipulation, all the way to some crazy special effects sequences, Burger never lost the audience while managing to not pander to the audience either.

I've been a fan of Bradley Cooper ever since I saw him in Alias, and in Limitless he showcases everything that made me a fan of his work. Cooper effortlessly flows from self deprecating to warm and caring, from enthusiastic to sarcastic, from fearful to hostile and any where else in between while maintaining a sincerity that is truly amazing. Cooper portrays the casual mercurial nature of your average person while infusing it with a natural charisma that makes him a joy to watch. And in this movie, it was needed. Any other actor in this role would have tipped the movie either too much into the cerebral for mass appeal, or played to the lowest common denominator, killing almost everything the movie was trying to explore.

And the concepts the movie was trying to explore were the biggest draw for me. Ideas like the difference between experience and intelligence, or the difference between the real world and the theoretical world, the necessary balance between intelligence and emotion, all get explored in interesting and new ways.

All in all, I would recommend this movie to anyone who's looking for a good ride with a little more substance thrown in the mix. The story leaves some questions open for interpretation, which is good for after movie discussions. Go and watch this with your friends. You'll have a great time!

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