Friday, May 20, 2011

The Review Garden: Limitless

What would you do, if your abilities were limitless?

Now, I know this movie came out a while back. But due to scheduling issues, I couldn’t get the review out any sooner. So here’s the short version: If it’s still in theaters in your town— see it. Seriously. It's gorgeous. It's smart. It's fun.

So, about a month ago, I saw a movie that I have never heard of: Limitless. All the ads lately have been focused on sequels and well, anything being put out by DC and Marvel. And when I did see the poster, it reminded me of the posters put out by the usual action, shoot-em-ups. Which I haven’t been in the mood to see. So I ignored it.

Wow was that ever a mistake.

In the story, the main character is Eddie Morra, a guy who can’t get his life together and it’s not going to get better. Then Eddie’s ex-brother in law re-enters his life and gives him this seemingly normal looking clear pill, called “NZT”. After taking it, Eddie suddenly has the ability to access EVERY PART OF HIS BRAIN AT ONCE (instead of the usual 20%). His skills become high enough to be called super human. And, of course, Eddie uses these new abilities to gain the fame and fortune he’s always wanted and then some. But it becomes obvious that someone else is after these pills and is willing to kill to get them. And it only gets worse when Eddie discovers the side-effects of NZT.

Okay. First off. This movie. Is. Freaking. Beautiful.

In the trailer, there are a few scenes where we see numbers raining down, words rotating on the walls and one panoramic view. Looked cool, but these are shown out of context and for a spit second, so they don’t really sink in. Looked more like basic after effects.

In the movie, the scenes are gorgeous. To the point that it’s almost surreal! This movie is a film student’s dream, with long panoramic views, looping zoom in shots, and a use of CG that makes me surprised that this wasn’t shot in 3D. It would have been great if it did. Except then it would probably make my eyes explode. And not in a good way. Ah, the “joys” of modern 3D movies. Sigh.

The beauty of this is that all of these techniques are really simple. You don’t look at the screen and go “how the heck did they do that?!”. These are very simple technics are applied really well in the actual film. A welcomed contrast to the modern trend of applying as much new technology and cg as possible.

The rest of the film was beautifully shot with good pacing, good use of angles and establishing shots, and at no time did I find some of the more repetitive techniques annoying. Each one was used a little differently and there was something new to see in each scene as we switch from first to third person.

Okay, now that I've putting this movie on a golden pedestal, lets get to the story.

Surprisingly, the story is just as good. Though indeed complicated. I did my best to find any plot holes and... I really couldn’t find anything. Okay, there was a couple that you could argue are plot holes, but that's kinda it. The whole things is written like a mystery where you connect the dots yourselves and when the answer show up, it’s implied just enough so that we understand what’s happening, without the writer spoon feeding the answer to us. Sometimes we don't get all the answers but these are rather small in comparison to the big picture. And, more importantly— the answers make sense.

I wouldn’t go as far as to say its like “Inception” though. Inception is still absolutely mind blowing and focuses more on dream images. And it's faaar more darker and complicated. And even though i called the camera work surreal, the story itself... is not. The people feel like real people and the situations feel real. Eddie is only using abilities that he already had, but could never access. And I’d say that the way the positives and negatives of NZT are portrayed and the characters reactions to them, are realistic to how they would in the real world.

It’s straight and to the point when it needs to be but shows off when we need a break from, well, everything else.

This movie is well deserved of the title action thriller, with extremely well choreographed fights, and a few shocking moments, one that actually had me close my eyes when it happened, and another that made the entire theatre cringe from the gross out factor. And the several twists at, and near the end are well done and slipped in to the scenes so easily, you wouldn’t think it was a twist at all. Like I said—, “connecting the dots”.

Not to mention a theme song that you will NEVER get out of your head.

Okay, praise time over. What did I hate?

... Honestly, not much. I’m a little annoyed that this is but another movie that takes place in New York. And that almost every other meeting the main character has with a woman in this movie suddenly cuts to them having sex in the next scene. And it is painfully obvious. I saw the scene laid out and literally went 3...2...1...— and then it cuts to them going at it. There were a couple of basic movie clich├ęs that popped up to.

But really, this is nitpicking at best. It’s been a while since I’ve scene a big budget movie I've so thoroughly enjoyed (or a big budget movie at all). It was beautiful to watch and as a plus, I found myself relating to Eddie very easily and I think others will to. Many of us have gone through situations where it seemed like life hates us, or we find ourselves at dead ends wondering what happened, even if we’ve never had a heath problem or addictions or disabilities. We wonder what could be have done if we were a “better” version of ourselves. This movie gives us a possible answer. One that might scare us.

Seeya guys,
 Tegan Dumpleton aka SlugLady28

PS. Guess what I am now? A GRADUATE WITH A BACHELOR OF DESIGN!!!!! *Does the "Carlton""

Edit: Fixed some grammer and added some links. Enjoy!

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