FULL DISCLOSURE: The movie Limitless is my all-time favorite movie, so this review may be quite biased, but I will do my best to remain relatively objective. But hey, it's my site right? :P
Limitless is a new series airing September 22nd on CBS, based on the 2011 movie starring Bradley Cooper. The movie was met with mixed, but generally favorable reviews. So how does the new series based on the movie stack up?
The first half of the Pilot is largely eerily similar to the movie, albeit with a brand new protagonist called Brian Finch. It uses the same initial concept of a washed up creative type just about hitting rock bottom when somehow the incredible NZT-48 pill is introduced to him, therein giving him abilities never thought possible. The plot uses the false premise that we only use 10% of our brains, and that this pill essentially unlocks the remaining portion of our brains. A highly flawed scientific concept, but one that is interesting for science fiction nonetheless.
The Pilot pays a lot of homage to the movie that precedes it and even has a certain special character from the movie present in the show. This was a particularly interesting decision, that in my mind will give the show a lot more credibility down the line as it attempts to continue the story rather than simply branch off and do its own thing. One thing I found particularly interesting and actually better than the movie, was the slightly more in-depth view at how Finch comes to his decisions while on NZT. The show does this by either having Finch have a slightly more involved internal dialogue, or by displaying images of memory recall that led to the decision. This particular method is something that would probably have seemed out-of-place for a feature film, but is perfect for an episodic series.
There are intense moments, moments that make you think, but not too hard, and there are even some emotional moments. Hell, there's even 3-4 mini plot-twists in this singular episode that increases the complexity of the plot and sets it up for a lot to go through, but everything is clearly connected.Â If I think about it actually, it almost seems like they're making it more about NZT than the characters. Of course, I could be wrong and the characters may develop in some extraordinary ways (who knows), but right now, that's what it looks like.
So far I am highly impressed with the Pilot of Limitless and am very excited to see more of it. Fans of the movie (myself included) will love this pilot and hopefully will have lots more to enjoy as the show progresses.
Limitless: Pilot 8.5/10###
UPDATE: The show has far too much slap-stick comedy and it's incredibly distracting. The pilot had promise, and it was ok for the first few episodes, then eventually it just became stupid and I completely lost interest. Long Story Short: the show was Cancelled. Good. That mess didn't deserve to keep going.