"No, the question is... 'what is it not'!"
To converse with Producer Chris Hale is to converse with a man who is very proud of the film he helped bring to life, and to journey into Limbo is to understand why he is so proud. Limbo cannot be over-hyped. It's one of those rare films that is truly well thought out and structured (verifiably so on repeated viewings), excellently executed and fully fulfilling. This may never be a blockbuster, simply because it's so smart that it's almost inaccessible, but it may become a classic in the history of artistic independent cinema.
I'll tell you what I can without daring to offer spoiler one. Writer/ Director Thomas Ikimi's Limbo is a full length and glorious black and white mystery combining the finest elements of the best film noir with our modern filmscape, rife with cell phones, chatting computers and unreal hyperreality. The mesh proves seamlessly smooth as Ikimi tells us the story of Adam Moses, an up on his luck lawyer who receives a rather uncommon birthday present, courtesy of a near-legendary hit man known as Ouroboros. As Moses finds himself parting the colorless time stream and becoming as unstuck as Billy Pilgrim, we follow him through a twisted and poetic existence. Each loop in his journey grants him more and more answers, serving only to prove how very far he still is from the actual question. Wave upon wave of demented adventures march Adam through Limbo, but is he getting better, worse, or... simply number?
You won't believe where it's all going, but you'll want to know because Limbo is one hell of a good ride. That is... if you can keep up with it. Like I said, Limbo isn't for everyone. You have to turn your brain on to understand this movie. It's not the kind of movie you can halfway watch while you divide your attention between it and PC Solitaire, or the latest issue of Us Weekly. From Ikimi's subtle placement of hints to his ironic juxtaposition of events, often surrounding the same characters and motivators at different times, you might as well feign attention to a Bergman flick than to half-watch this one!
Both Hale and Ikimi are to be praised for Limbo's success, from risk to risk and from warp to warp. Their courage in mixing such seemingly divergent film styles into one cohesive whole is a reconciliation of opposites that any romantic could high five. What could have devolved into a heavy-handed and blatantly metaphorical experiment manages to maintain a thrilling consistency right up until the final chapter slams its way shut and we finally see what happens when the snake finishes its meal and the circle closes in on itself.
A special salute must be offered to Taylor Loeb's casting here. Chris Russo (the actor who portrays Adam Moses) is a credible and gripping leading man, befriending the viewer early on with his smirking Rob Lowe charm, and keeping us all as his close confidants as he comes to find that a world without consequences isn't necessarily a world without guilt. Trust me, kids, though Russo steals his own show, the biggest parts and the smallest extras all deliver on this great script. Could Limbo have survived without such a good and dedicated cast (including Etya Dudko, Eric Christie, the excellent Joe Holt or Taylor "smart enough to cast myself" Loeb)? Could Limbo have made it without a musical score as good as that of Andrew David Daniels? Could Limbo have been this coherent without such smooth edits as those provided by Scott Brock? No, No and No. Luckily, it didn't have to try.
If you're ready for an amazing and genre-bending film that takes brilliant concepts and blends them all into an engrossing and mind-bending whole, without ever once feeling derivative; if you're ready to take your brain off of pause for an hour and a half and truly think about a movie for a change; if you're ready for a line of stacked dominoes that, amazingly, all fall satisfyingly without a single fizzled plot line in the bunch, then you can't beat Limbo with a limbo stick! Limbo is proof positive that the next generation of great film makers won't necessarily be found in Hollywood. Five Stars out of Five for Limbo. Watch close until the end, and if you don't get it all... watch it again (I am... right now, as I type this). Watch for the cameos (Hale, Ikimi and others are peppered throughout), look for the imagery, but mostly, enjoy the ride all over again. You'll be amazed at how well this stands up to repeated viewings, and how perfectly each hint comes to fruition, when you relive Limbo. But then... nothing is quite what it seems. High speed on over to LimboMovie.com, and catch how to see it for yourself. Just remember... it's impolite to stare.