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Limitless: EW review
By SP_COP on September 22, 2015 | From
Limitless: EW review TV adaptations of big-screen entertainment can often feel small in spectacle, ambition and imagination. They needn’t be. Last year, Fargo knocked our socks off with a sweeping, clever crime yarn and an inventive aesthetic inspired by the work of the show’s spiritual godfathers, the Coen brothers. The artfulness of Fargo shames Fox’s Minority Report, a cop show proceduralification of the Steven Spielberg/Tom Cruise sci-fi smash that’s rich in special effects and poor in every other phase of its game; and it’s miles beyond what’s demonstrated by the pilot for CBS’ Limitless, a cop show proceduralification of the 2011 Bradley Cooper sci-fi lite thriller about a guy who becomes near omniscient and supremely competent at, like, everything, by taking a mysterious drug.

Limitless is a sequel to the film, inasmuch as it takes place within the world created by the movie and even features Cooper as his character in a recurring cameo. Points for franchise-mandated respect for the source material! Of course, it also asks us to care about an underachieving white male from a family of privilege – he’s also a struggling musician, in case that helps you like him more – who finally finds purpose and fulfillment by becoming a chemically jacked comic book übermensch. In Marvel Comics parlance, he’s the hippie minstrel Rick Jones who becomes a cosmically aware Captain Marvel.

In the parlance of Limitless, he’s Brian Finch, a generically scruffy hunk played by Jake McDorman (Greek) who resents the judgmental worry of his parents about his delayed/deficient/never-gonna-get-it awesomeness. Then he scores some magic beans, a compound known as NZT-48. The drug makes him a Brainiac, complete with Tesla-esque recall and Data-esque analytical skills. Like most superheroes who must learn that with great power comes great responsibility, Brian initially spends his windfall of I.Q. points on irresponsible pursuits – and some decent ones too (he’s got a good heart, don’t you know) – but then conscience takes over completely and righteous but modest callings tug at him. His strangely sick dad needs a differential diagnosis (Dr. House: Unavailable), a white collar psycho also abusing NZT needs collaring. Eventually, he meets Cooper’s character, a wise Jedi strong with the NZT force who may or may not be a reliable Obi-Wan for our suddenly skywalking hero. Finally, Brian gets recruited by the FBI to solve crimes. Weekly franchise established! Achievement unlocked! Next level, please....
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NAMES: Bradley Cooper, Jake McDorman, Rick Jones, Steven Spielberg, Tom Cruise
TAGS: action, Limitless, review, sci-fi, series, tv series
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