With the TV adaptation of ‘Limitless’ now airing in the UK, I’ve opted to do a Real Time Review of the film that spawned it. It also gives me an opportunity to try my hand at ‘Netflix and Chill’ — something I’ve heard great things about. I have no idea what it is, got called an idiot for wishing to attempt it alone, but knocked what’s-his-face out and stole his Netflix log-in details to try it anyway.
Being a bumpkin from Britain, I’ve been made aware that American cities are much more linear than ours. But having watched these opening credits, I had no idea that with one camera zoom you can see to the other end of New York, through a billboard, into Bradley Cooper’s brain, and then have an aerial view of the city. I’d call bulls**t on it but who am I to question a film based around that widely accepted fact of only being able to access 20% of our brain?
Damn it movie, don’t make me introspect my life while I write for my loser blog. This is your first and only warning.
Some casual Sunday evening arithmetic and… yep, this is officially the 327,000th movie about a struggling actor or writer living in New York City. And, oh fantastic, his girlfriend works for a magazine/newspaper in the big city just to make things that little bit more generic.
We’ve now passed 10 minutes and yet there is still voice-over narration. I’m pretty sure the screenwriter copied and pasted blocks of text from the book this was based on. I’d read the book to clarify this hunch but reading’s for nerds — or at least that’s what it said on the posters outside my school’s library. It was a pretty rad school.
At this stage I just want to point out that I don’t see the appeal of ‘Netflix and Chill’. I’m sat here with a backwards baseball cap, the back of my chair facing forwards, and sunglasses on the back of my head (because having things backwards makes you chill). And yet, I feel kind of stupid?
Okay, let me just check something… yeah, no, this is definitely not Limitless the Video Game — yet one of the character’s just gave Bradley Cooper a side quest? Come on mate, if you’re going to hand out side quests willy-nilly, then you might as well have a light shining down on you like an actual video game character would. Even this cat knows what’s up:
You know what fella, after that whole side quest malarkey, you deserve this. And guess what hurts the most? You seemed like a pretty sound dude when you were handing out illegal drugs to any Tom, Dick, or Bradley.
See Bradley? You found what you were looking for without needing to take any drugs!
Now, this is the part where you stop watching if you want it to be a nice little after school special.
…Okay, it looks like all the nerds have stopped watching, its just us chill people left. Now, Bradley, your reward for finding the drugs…. is drugs! Lots of drugs! Time to get drugged!
Fun fact: Bradley Cooper is not the only person to take this drug in a movie. Remember in ‘Spiderman 2’ when Tobey Maguire was like “Nah, f**k being Spider-Man, imma walk around New York like a happy little nut job too”?
Bradley Cooper uses algorithms to make money. I use them to determine the exact number of films featuring struggling writers. Damn it movie, I warned you about this, stop making me introspect my life!
At ruddy last, its Robert De Niro! Do you remember that episode of ‘Extras’ he was sort of in?
I bet they managed to squeeze filming both that and all of his scenes for this film into one afternoon.
This is probably the closest I will come to a serious critique of this film so brace yourself…
It’s parts like this trippy sequence that make ‘Limitless’ so much fun. They are the reason it has earned a place on the lucrative ‘Filmic Wander’s Top 3 Films to Watch When Drunk’ list (scratched onto a toilet cubicle at the local bus station where all those Buzzfeed listicles of a similar nature belong).
In case you’re curious, the other two films on the list are ‘Robocop’ and ‘The Voices’.
Yep. The same thing happened to me that night I watched Limitless, Robocop, and The Voices all in succession. The randomer who I paid to hold his cameraphone upside-down seemed confused, disgusted, and fascinated all at once. A real cauldron of human behaviour. Nice guy, odd career choice.
So here we are. As an avid enthusiast of movie timecodes, this is the part where I like to reflect and speculate, as it is the exact middle of the film. To do this, I arrange an intermission outside of my apartment. No one ever shows up. Today isn’t any different.
But thankfully I have you kind Internet folk to share my deep feelings with. The first of which is WHAT THE HELL IS THE APPEAL OF NETFLIX AND CHILL?! I’ve been tolerating these uncomfortable clothes and awkward seating manner all in the name of being chill for almost an hour now and for what?! Either I’ve misinterpreted the concept or society sucks.
Back to my arithmetic — and I’ve just calculated that this dude is Hollywood’s 482,000th bad guy with a Russian accent. Now, don’t get me wrong, bad guys in American films always having British accents has given me a career to fall back on, but still…. has there ever been a good guy with a Russian accent?
In a film centred around Bradley Cooper where all other characters are pretty thinly sketched, this scene is the most memorable, yet the protagonist is hardly involved.
Damn it, I’m being serious again and actually offering a valid opinion on the film. But I just really want all those involved to know that this scene is superb.
The exact timecodes for it are 01:01:06 to 01:05:34
Nothing beats that feeling when one movie mentions another movie, which happens to be your joint-favourite movie of all time and…. wait… wait a drug taking minute here…. what if it actually is set in the Matrix? Only within such an illogical cinematic universe could such an illogical drug exist (see, I’m even dishing out needless burns to one my favourite films, there is literally nothing I can take seriously. Try me.)
Robert De Niro’s back. I know he’s on the posters and everything but his appearances in this film just seem like cameos — so much so that whenever he pops up, I half expect a live studio audience to cheer (for examples of this phenomenon, see: every sitcom ever).
Because this random, presumably pretty skint, scientist would have rejected 1 million? I mean, this guy’s on brain enhancing super drugs, yet he thinks 2 million is the starting point for negotiation? You’d be surprised what £2.50 can get you in this world. Bradley, let me teach you the ways of the cheapskate.
8 point ruddy 5 million?! Again, Bradley, work on that haggling fella. I got my apartment for £2.50 and sure it doesn’t have the high-tech security system you’re looking for, sure it falls a little short of having four walls, and sure it can’t actually be called an apartment for legal reasons — but I got a good price for that abandoned wheelbarrow I sleep in.
Just a teaser for ‘The Usual Suspects’ reboot coming later this year. Might want to lower your expectations, though.
I mean, don’t lower them to Batman vs. Superman proportions, but still, don’t expect much from it.
Now, I know what you’re thinking — “Oh no, it’s the bad guys and they’re after Bradley Cooper’s drugs!”
Wrong-o! Guess who couldn’t cough up that 8.5 million worth of rent this month? The landlord is pissed and whose fault is that?
…Society’s. With its damn ‘Netflix and Chill’ bulls**t.
I know what Bradley Cooper’s thinking here… He’s thinking, “I know how to get back at these hoodlums, I’ll challenge them to a bubblewrap pop-off!” No one can resist that proposition, not even generic Russian bad guys.
Dude, you came to a bubblewrap pop-off with that stuff? You are so screwed. That is not the official bubblewrap pop-off kit.
Aaaaaaaand Bradley Cooper’s about to drink that guy’s blood. This is the part where we find out we’ve all been duped into watching ‘Dracula: The Origin Story’ (Hollywood’s final “f**k you”).
So after taking loads of crazy drugs, he is now involved in politics? Actually, I’m starting to think this might be Donald Trump’s origin story. Or, at least, his and Dracula’s origin story (after all, chances are they’re the same person, right? — ‘The Simpsons’ knows what’s up).
So there we have it. I guess I should provide some sort of verdict now.
Well, ‘Limitless’ is — as I’ve mentioned a few times now — a fun watch, funner if you’re drunk, and even funnerer if you’re on NZT-48.
Author’s Note: Hey, thank you for checking out this…. whatever it is… your attention is much appreciated! This is the first ‘Real Time Review’ I’ve done (not including the experiment I pulled last month with ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’) and I’m aiming to do them quite regularly from now on (3 or 4 per week). Hopefully, I’ll be able to improve the quality as I go along.
Thanks again, see you around!