18 Feb 2013


I should probably title this ”why oh why didn’t I go to the movies to see this”

Looper is the creation of Rian Johnson, the writer and creator of Brick, also starring Joseph Gordon  Levitt. I loved Brick I thought it was a clever and original piece of film, which was also a great homage to the film noir classics like  The Big Sleep. Johnson and Levitt reunite for Looper which is Johnson's third film.

But just because I liked his first film, doesn’t mean I will like this! 

A synopsis is required:

It is 2044, and time travel hasn’t been invented yet. But in thirty years it will be. Given the very nature of time travel and its inherent dangers there is a global ban on its use.   In the future forensic science is so sophisticated it is virtually impossible to cover up a murder. Thus crime syndicates use time travel to obfuscate their crimes. They kidnap their victims; send them back in time (to 2044) where they are murdered by hired assassins known as Loopers. The syndicates sent back an operative in time to set up the Loopers in Kansas.  Joe(Joseph Gordon Levitt)  was  been hired by one of these syndicates to kill for them. Joe, like most  

Loopers, lives a life of drugs, fast cars and money in a world of poverty and corruption. But this all changes when the Looper closes his own loop. Closing your loop is when the syndicate decides to clean up a loose end and sends a Looper back to be killed by his past self.  One sunny day Joe in Kansas comes face to face with himself, but Joe isn’t going quietly.  

Ensue time travel paradox hijinx!

People kept telling me “Go see Looper its great!” but for some reason I didn’t. No particular reason, but I regret it now.  While I enjoyed it , I regret not watching it at the movies. Not because I think that Looper is particularly spectacular visually, it is just a story I wish I had watched early. 

Joseph Gordon Levitt is now one of my favourite actors. I don’t think it is a coincidence that this originally stemmed from his performance in  Brick either. He is a clever and talented actor who is now reason enough to get my attention about any film he is in. In Looper, Levitt under goes some subtle prosthetic work to make him look more like his future self-played by Bruce Willis.   

While initially jarring  you very quickly stop noticing, and just accept it as you engage with the narrative. Emily Blunt also stars in this film and while smoking hot now, in thirty years (well I will probably still find her hot) will be the next Dame Judy. Good actress. Willis and Levitt do an excellent job as ‘Joe’, but credit has to go to Levitt for doing such a great Bruce Willis impersonation. Jeff Bridges plays a supporting part and his exchanges with Levitt are some of my favourite parts of the film. 

The story seems like one of those ideas that people have thrashed around for ages, and yet in a world of remakes Looper is fresh and interesting. It is well written and fun. One thing that many people might find appealing about this is that it is science fiction that steers away from cliched ideas of the future. There are some gadgets, but the air is not filled with flying cars, or the streets filled with aliens.  Johnson’s future is dark and dystopian and low tech, and is a familiar and plausible world.  

I thought Looper was great; good acting, good story, entertaining and very re-watchable.

I give it  8 time travelling monkeys.

1 comment:

  1. I too really enjoyed it. Since, quite a few people have pointed out various problems with the internal logic of the story and of the world. That's tarnished it a bit and I'm not sure I would enjoy it quite so much a second time.