Thursday, September 29, 2011

DVD Review: The Unlimited Plot Holes Of "Limitless"

I can find the good in most movies, whether it's a drama, comedy, action, whatever. Whether it's a classic absurd action flick like "Commando" where Arnold Schwarzenegger blows up the same people several times over, or a movie that takes itself too seriously, art-house indie flick like "Living in Oblivion," or a somewhat preachy historical drama like "The Conspirator". If the plot keeps moving along, and the dialogue rings true, you've got me. If there's some minor details that don't quite add up, I'm happy to let them slide. What I can't and won't abide are plot holes so wide you can sail a fleet of aircraft carriers through them. Based on this belief, I'm surprised so many people liked "Limitless". A spoiler alert for those who have not seen it begins now:

Bradley Cooper reaches down deep for some gravitas...
and comes up empty.
Starring the always douchey and not at all charismatic Bradley Cooper (who no matter what he does, will always be known as Sack Lodge), "Limitless" starts out with a nice, but fairly simple premise. Meet a fairly dumb guy with bad hair, watch as dumb guy takes pills then gets smart and obnoxiously confident (where Cooper does indeed excel) then loses pills, gets dumb again, and must find those damn pills. To help us-- the viewers-- know when he's smart, the director makes his eyes ridiculously blue and cuts his hair. Gee, thanks! The movie is also either a hammer over the head allegory about drug use and addiction, a blatant rip-off of the classic short story "Flowers for Algernon" that we all read in the 6th grade or an ad for better living through Chemistry, courtesy of Big Pharma.

Enough set-up, here's a list of just some of the numerous plot flaws. For those that have watched it, if I missed any, please add your own in the comment section.

Huge Flaw #1: Bradley Cooper is a novelist with godawful hygeine who's procured a book advance. Before he takes the brain enhancing drugs.

Huge Flaw #2:  Once he's gotten the pills that open up his brain, Cooper's character becomes insanely smart, yet his first move is to secure a loan from a crazy Russian loan shark who threatens to kill him if he doesn't pay him back. Huh?

Mars Attacks: more believable
than Limitless
Huge Flaw #3: Cooper has a supply of the drug NZT throughout most of the movie, but in every other scene he is going through withdrawals. The audience is also never told how much is left, but it always seems like not much, until they show a bag and there's a ton. The drug does look kind of cool and silvery though, like a futuristic Mentos, so points on the design of if at least.

Huge Flaw #4: Somewhere during one of the movies 4 or 5 montages where Bradster is doing cool, rich things he possibly murders some girl. We are never told whether he does or not. Who cares, right? Minor detail, move on, nothing to see here.
Huge Flaw #5:  Remember when this brilliant guy secures a loan from a crazy Russian loan shark who threatens to kill him if he doesn't pay him back? He forgets to pay him back.

Like looking in a mirror
Huge Flaw #6: Have you ever noticed that Bradley Cooper looks kind of like an alligator? Bradley, you know what they say: if you ain't a gator, you gator bait.

Huge Flaw #7: Early on, before he borrows money from the gangster, when he's thinking with his enhanced brain, he says he made a plan but he would need money to execute it. Then he becomes a day trader. If there's one thing I know, it's that day trading is for schmoes.

Hugh Flaw #8: At one point in the film, Coop's long suffering ex-girlfriend, played by Abbie Cornish is being chased in broad daylight through Central Park. As the guy's closing in, she swallows a pill and suddenly her enhanced brain focuses on all the potential weapons nearby. She sees a nearby gardener with gigantic shears, a guy holding a baseball bat, and an ice skating rink. Where does she go? Racing to a nearby ice skating rink, picking up a small child, and using said child's ice skated feet to whip the guy across the face. Why would she pick that?

Scary Russian guys that wear funny
suits are very in right now.
Huge Flaw #9: He gets an $8.5 million apartment in a high security/supposedly impenetrable building. When the gangsters show up, they have no problem strolling up to his place and drilling a hole in his door with some sort of crazy boring device that Dr. Evil or Goldfinger would envy. This thing could reach the earth's core. It's a fairly loud product. Once they're in, they proceed to shoot at him with machine guns and throw him around for several minutes and no one seems to notice, except for a neighbor who is also murdered as a result of his drug addiction.

Huge Flaw #10: He drinks a guy's blood to get high. This is just blatant and gratuitous cashing in on the vampire craze.

Yup, I'm a D-bag.
Huge Flaw #11: At the end of the movie, Robert DeNiro's character returns to blackmail Sack and lets him know his lab (where he is making more of the drug) has been shut down and he's going to have some 'splaining to do, unless he lets DeNiro start calling all the shots. Then we learn from Cooper that he's weened himself off the drug and doesn't need it anymore and he has retained all his smartitudouchness (his words, not mine). First of all, this goes against everything that was stated about the drug earlier in the movie. Secondly, if that was the case, why is the goddamn lab still open? Answer me that, Coopdog?

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