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The Dream Machine --- The Imagination of the World Wide Web
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A struggling writer discovers a top-secret drug that allows him to use 100% of his brain. Some people are confusing the synopsis as the main character receiving superhuman abilities. That analysis is false. People can only use a certain part of their brain, while this drug permits the lead to use all of it. The screenplay is hit and miss. While the film is predictable, there's a lot of fun to be had here. There are some clever lines of dialogue and there isn't one single boring moment within the entire running time. The claim that there are plot holes scattered throughout is true, although I don't feel that they're big enough to distract from the rest of the film. If you're expecting brilliant writing here, you'll be disappointing. Not all of the concepts are quite as fresh and original as the trailer made them seem. However, Limitless is supported with an acceptable screenplay.
The three actors highly advertised with the film are Bradley Coper, Abbie Cornish, and Robert De Niro. I understand some of the predictions of the movie worried about Bradley Cooper being cast in a more serious leading role than he's used to. He has proven many people wrong here. Cooper holds his role well. He's believable as both the pathetic loser in the beginning and the overachiever later in. Abbie Cornish could have been used to the film's advantage. This was a missed opportunity. She's barely in the movie and randomly pops in and out from time to time. While Cornish could have had a bigger role in the film, she pulls her weight well. Robert De Niro is a big name to have on the cast list. Similar to Cornish, De Niro is barely in the movie. There isn't much to acting to critique on his part since he has such a small amount of screen time that it isn't enough to use as an advantage or weakness to the film. Despite some missed chances, the acting is fine on all accounts.
For those of you who aren't stimulated by the acting or the evolving plot will be delivered that stimulation through the visuals. This is cinema eye candy in every way. There are some interesting camera shots and filters used throughout that especially take effect as the drug is kicking into the lead. All of the visuals are interesting and convey the effect of the drug to the audience very well.
The first half of this action/thriller is clearly the better half of the film. There are some appealing questions put in front of the audience, but some of the answers felt unsatisfying. While the first portion of the movie had a fresh feel to it, the second part had a 'been there, done that' feel to it. The screenplay could have worked Cornish and De Niro much more into the film. Limitless ends up being alright when it could have been great.