Limbo (2005)

"Good"

Limbo (2005) Review


Limbo is an appropriate title for filmmaker Thomas Ikimi's first feature -- his stark tale of an attorney caught in various states of constancy plays like Groundhog Day with a fifth of whiskey. For one man, time repeats itself in a torturous cycle that teeters him between complete freedom of conscience and sheer insanity.

Considering Akimi's lack of experience, it's an admirably ambitious undertaking that yields mixed results. Made for roughly $9,000 on black-and-white digital video, Limbo has many of the hiccups seen in low-budget projects and a wealth of promise displayed in Ikimi's narrative skills.

The man stuck in the middle is Adam Moses (Christopher Russo), a lawyer with a vaguely checkered past who refuses to give damaging evidence to a powerful criminal (George Morafetis). Soon, Moses finds himself on a city rooftop, where an apparent shooting leaves him unhurt -- but trapped within a never-ending series of "cycles," where a period of time may repeat any number of instances.

Ikimi establishes his story well, placing Moses in the middle of his hell as he saves an addicted gambler from suicide during one his "cycles." As the savior and the saved talk later, Moses tells his tale of woe in flashback, taking us right through the confusion with his new companion. Russo, as Moses, performs a pulpy, melodramatic voiceover throughout that works with the film's black-and-white dreariness and occasionally helps to suspend disbelief.

As a director, Ikimi employs a healthy variety of angles and approaches, sending Moses up and down stairways (an effective story device, actually), searching through apartments and roaming city streets. He even uses a simple but enticing dissolve effect to move time. The whole effort captures a spooky, seedy world rather well, probably the film's strongest attribute.

From an acting standpoint, Russo appears to get stronger as Limbo progresses, but many of the performances have an overly earnest film school flavor that can hedge toward hokey. It's the kind of weakness that comes with the territory in a film such as this. If an aspiring filmmaker could learn one lesson watching Limbo, it's that a competent lead actor can get you through some rough spots. (Or, those same aspiring filmmakers could examine the performances in Primer, a similar style of first-time film made completely with inexperienced actors.)

What keeps Limbo interesting when pacing or performances falter is the heady concept: if time never progresses "logically," then actions have no consequences. At what point does Moses' questionable past catch up with him, with his soul acting as his only moral compass? Committing crimes can be a simple philosophical endeavor when the clock just resets. To many, that may sound like a college-level conversation on existentialism, but it keeps Limbo going.



Facts and Figures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.