Limitless (2022) Series Review

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Limitless (2022)
Creator(s): National Geographic
Actor(s): Chris Hemsworth
Studio: Disney+
Rating: TV-14
Premiere Date: 08/23/1970

Limitless with Chris Hemsworth lives up to its name as a documentary series that sparks an idea of living longer and healthier.

The series blends its star power from Chris Hemsworth (Thor, Extraction, Spiderhead) with a variety of physical challenges that test a different aspect of longevity. Surprisingly, Limitless feels like a working blend of education and documentary that brings its takeaways straight to viewers at home.

Darren Aronofsky sits as an executive producer to deliver some high quality cinematics. Limitless captures enough Hollywood flair to match Hemsworth’s own take for a documentary. This is why most episodes start near the climax before his physical challenge. It’s also a format that sets up some tension as viewers learn what Hemsworth did to prepare.

Limitless does a great job of keeping viewers hooked across most episodes with Hemsworth and company. The series keeps him focused as an avatar for unlocking the secrets of longer living. These are broken down into themes including strength, stress, eating and shock. Hemsworth fans will get more than their share of screen time as he narrates throughout and takes nods at his career.

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But surprisingly, Limitless doesn’t go overboard with the star power thanks to Hemsworth’s genuine curiosity in each activity, challenge and interaction with experts. When those nuggets of Thor show viewers learn more about how he juggles his research into that daily routine.

Somehow, Limitless still can’t escape the trap of losing viewers when spewing out educational segments. The series tries to stay compelling by talking about the body’s reactions to each of those aforementioned themes. While I still zoned out as some interactions repeated some of the points laid out by CGI diagrams of the human body. These moments come plenty to bloat each episode into a 45 plus minute experience.

“I’m excited to see how Limitless can engage viewers with the thought of knowing beyond their capabilities.”

In true National Geographic fashion, viewers should expect plenty of HD, slow motion shots and the same soundtrack over Hemsworth’s activities. Each episode is also a self-contained affair until it somewhat comes together in the finale. I would have loved to see how Hemsworth took what he learned from the previous episode to the next. But it’s a straightforward affair that detracts from his journey of living well into his 90s.

The first episode, covering stress, is still my favourite and starts strong with a relatable hook. Limitless does best when it explains science, hormones and microscopic changes through Hemsworth’s perspective. While some key takeaways give viewers ways to think healthier at the end of each episode.

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Hemsworth walks a mile in Tom Cruise‘s shoes across the season. Episodes that cover shock and fasting try to bring out the worst in Hemsworth’s weaknesses. Limitless starts to feel predictable with its formulaic buildup from research, activities, to challenge. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the experts, family and a few cameos who joined Hemsworth on his adventures. While Limitless does a great job of having them stick around to back up that science and give him moral support. Here, the show stays fun with Hemsworth’s set of friends and personal videos for flashbacks.

Limitless wastes no time diving into the lives of people he interacts with.”

Limitless wastes no time diving into the lives of people he interacts with. Researchers, experts and communities get some time to shine. Viewers get a break from Hemsworth as they talk about how an aging secret shaped their identities. National Geographic starts to flex their own storytelling muscles when it suddenly zips to another part of the world. Viewers get a glimpse at how an aging secret is applied by people who dedicated their whole lives to mastering it. It’s a fascinating segway that stays with Hemsworth’s journey across each episode.

The series finale is by far the most gut-wrenching one of the season. Viewers are taken out of that format of action stunts. While Aronofsky flexes a bit of his horror muscles to illustrate death and aging. Hemsworth shows a genuine interest through a three-day experiment viewers will have fun watching. Limitless’ finale takes an uncomfortable topic and doesn’t hold back with its message.

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I’m excited to see how Limitless can engage viewers with the thought of knowing beyond their capabilities. Hemsworth becomes a fascinating vessel for researchers. There’s enough globe-trotting intrigue and activities to show longevity from real applications. The show asks enough questions to jog ideas of adding some longevity to our lives each day. As a National Geographic special, it mostly hits the right tones for anyone looking for a fun-ducational binge.

Limitless streams on Disney+ starting on November 16, 2022.

Note: CGMagazine was provided five of the six episodes

Final Thoughts

REVIEW SCORE

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