A couple weeks ago I watched a screener of director Nic Andrew's 2000 vampire flick, Dark Angels, and was immensely disappointed by it. Nevertheless, I never pass up free screeners so when I was given a copy of his 2005 movie, No Limits, I decided to give Andrews' work another shot...
No Limits opens with a look at the troubled marriage between Devon and her husband, played by Cheyne Collins. During lunch, Cheyne tells Devon that he has signed her up for a marriage counseling therapy center. Devon reluctantly goes to the center and, after waiting for hours, is finally given a series of Clockwork Orange like tests by creepy doctor, Mike Horner.
A few days later on her way home from work, Devon gets caught in an elevator with Jessica Drake, who helps her to safety then gives her a lift home. Upon arriving home, Devon discovers Polaroids of her husband savagely beaten, then receives a phone call from an individual stating that he has kidnapped her husband and demands $100,000 for his release, or else. Devon panics and calls the bank, but is anyone or anything as it seems?
I'd first off like to mention that this movie was shot on video (HD) and not film, albeit with 35mm lenses, and is therefore sadly not nearly as depthful and crisp as it could have been. This is an even greater shame considering the very high production values and excellent cinematography and lighting employed throughout the movie. Nevertheless, No Limits is a very well made piece of work and director/writer/cinematographer Nic Andrews deserves all the credit.
Although not the cleverest of stories, Andrews has crafted an impressive and very engaging script with good pacing and very decent dialogue. The very ending (after the more obvious major revelations) is actually quite surprising and sends an interesting message about what "freedom" really is.
My major gripe with this movie is the acting and actor choice, or lack there of. In the case of something like this, where the believability of the characters is crucial to the success of the work as a whole, casting a bunch of porno whores and muscle fags who can't say a properly acted word to save their bodyhair-less selves. This is rather a shame as, except for the bad cast, the movie is very good and miles above the piss-poor standards that have plagued intelligent hardcore cinema for the past 20+ years. Not a milestone but a must see.
The quality of the video is excellent. There is no noise and both blacks and colors are deep. The sound is extremely well mixed and professionally authored. No complaints here.
This is a new movie so I doubt anything has been cut from any earlier release.
Extras include an uninteresting still gallery, a decent 15 minute making-of doc, and music selections from the movie. Nothing too impressive but more than X rated stuff usually sees. A commentary track would have been really nice.
Who Should See It?
People who grew up with USA Network original movies and skinemax would probably dig this.
Who Should Skip It?
If, for some stupid reason, the idea of a real plot in your X rated movies is unappealing, then this certainly isn't the movie for you...
A first rate hardcore action thriller that really works, despite its bad acting. An extremely well made almost hidden gem that ought not be passed up.