Limitless (2011) - Waste of philosophic and scientific potential in this stylish action-thriller - 7/10 (24/10/16)
''Limitless'' is an entertaining science-fiction movie based upon the theory that humans are only using ten percent of their brain and the question what might happen if we were able to access more or all parts of our brain efficiently. Instead of focusing on the scientific and philosophic thoughts behind this concept, ''Limitless'' wastes a lot of potential as it limits itself to being an entertaining action- thriller with a debatable ending and moral.
The story focuses on the life of Eddie Morra. In the beginning, he seems to be a naive loser who never gets anything done and gets dumped by his girlfriend. When he starts taking a drug offered to him by a shady acquaintance, his life seems to change for the better as Eddie Morra becomes a popular writer, makes a lot of money on the stock market and becomes friends with a group of careless jet- setters. Soon, his addiction to the drug starts having negative impacts on himself and people around him as he gets tracked down by other addicts, competitors and loan sharks. In addition to this, he starts having blackouts and severe pain at times. He even gets involved in a murder case where he can't remember whether he killed the victim or not because of the drug. As he tries to find out more about the nootropic NZT-48, he realizes that a lot of addicts got sick or died of it either because of overdosing it or because they tried to stop taking it.
At this point, the movie could have taken a more thoughtful approach to elaborate on the horrors of drug addiction and its side effects. Instead, we get to see a lot of chasing passages, conspirative manipulations and murder scenes leading to a morally debatable ending that is explained very weakly. Overall, you get an entertaining, fast-paced and well done action-thriller but the story wastes its scientific potential midway through the movie and lacks inspiration in the second half.
From that point of view, I like the very similar ''Lucy'' by Luc Besson much better because it keeps asking philosophic and scientific questions and has a thought-provoking ending. People probably preferred ''Limitless'' because it glorifies the sex, drugs and rock and roll lifestyle and because it's easier to understand. In the end, I can recommend ''Limitless'' if you are looking for an entertaining action-thriller with solid actresses and actors and a stylish production. If you are looking for something which is both entertaining and intellectual, I would rather recommend Luc Besson's ''Lucy''.
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