Saturday, March 19, 2011

Neil Burger: The Inner Limits

Paranoiac thriller/satire Limitless meets the requirements of Hollywood male wish fulfillment fantasies while showing its own limitations as a film of any inner substance. A promising hackneyed script is boldly envisioned by the talented Neil Burger, channeling early Fincher, touching on the funny bones of modern American life and moviemaking. Burger showed promise with Interview with the Assassins, The Illusionist and The Lucky Ones, intriguing pictures that took cues from the best of the seventies. He doesn't deliver on that promise here with his least successful work yet, but reminds us nonetheless of his idiosyncratic point of view.

Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish and Robert De Niro merely fill the requirements of their roles, not quite standing out, as the real star here is the director's control over us realizing the debilitating limits of the premise, which gradually come to the fore.

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