“This time-travel crap fries your brain like an egg”
Writer: Rian Johnson.
Director: Rian Johnson.
Starring: Joseph Gordon- Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt.
Cinematic Release: 28th September 2012
Budget: $30 million
Box Office: $21 million (so far!)
It sure does, but damn do us film goers like a bit of time-travel, not since the likes of Back to the future or the excellent Bruce Willis flick Twelve Monkeys have I seen time-travel done so well. Writer/Director Rian Johnson has created a truly creative and intelligent movie with Looper, one that doesn’t sacrifice great story telling for the pursuit of action or visuals, yet Johnson has managed to nail all three.
Our story follows Joe played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Joe is an assassin called a Looper. In the future time-travel has been invented and then instantly outlawed used only in secret by the criminal underground. Loopers are hired by the mob to execute targets sent back in time from the future and then safely dispose of their bodies. This means there is no trace of the killing in the future and the Looper has essentially disposed of a body that doesn’t exist. Seems like a simple job, you turn up to a location kill a man who is hogt-ied with a bag on his head, dispose of his body and take home your pay, clean and simple. Only problem is at some stage you eventually have to kill your older self from the future, this is called “Closing the Loop”. Unfortunately when the mob wants to end its contract with a Looper they also want to erase any evidence of you existing. Once its done you get a huge payday and then go off and live your life in style for 30 years until you are eventually hunted down to be killed. Loopers know their faith and usually live a wild and reckless lifestyle because of this. Drinking, drugs, prostitutes nothings off limits when you know you have practically thrown your life away anyway.
There is only one rule as a Looper, don’t let your target escape.
So what happens when your target that happens to be yourself thirty years in the future managers to escape?
Bad things… that’s what!
This is where Bruce Willis comes in who plays Joe 30 years in the future, who is sent back but manages to knock out past Joe before he can kill him which leaves this past version of Joe with one choice, hunt himself down…his future self because the Mob aren’t happy and have also travelled back but aren’t too fussed about which of the Joes live or die so he is on a hunt to save himself by…kill his future self. Got it?
To go any further into the story would be saying to much but its a action packed adventure of twists and turns that manages to be heart warming, thrilling and at times terrifying, it’s the kind of movie you just can’t look away from.
The performances from the actors are all excellent, Joseph Gordon-Levitt manages to pull off a very convincing Bruce Willis impersonation for the duration of the film and manages to show once again why he is one of the best actors currently working in Hollywood. Bruce Willis gets to play a wonderful character as old Joe who has some of the toughest and most emotional scenes in the film but manages to pull them off flawlessly one scene in particular stands out as one of the toughest moral choices I have ever seen in a film. The stand out in Looper though comes in the form of single mother Emily Blunt who runs a farm on the outskirts of town with her 10 year old son. The love and care she shows in the wake of all the madness around her creates a truly likeable character, willing to do anything to defend her son.
Looper is beautifully shot, the future cities are very believable with vehicles laced with solar panels and tubes yet still looking very familiar to modern times while some can hover yet still have the same issues as we face today. A montage of Levitt aging into Bruce Willis pretty much solidifies the awesome aesthetics of the film. Looper also implements a wonderful use of slow motion which is thankfully not over used but when it kicks in really helps make a scene.
There really hasn’t been a film quite like Looper, it’s wonderful story telling and unique premise help make it one of the most exciting things to be released in cinema in a long time and should cement Rian Johnson as one of the great modern American directors. Its personally my favourite film of 2012 and all I can think about is going to see it again. Do yourself a favour and go see Looper, not just to watch Bruce Willis kick some serious ass in a way that would make John McClane proud (which does happen) but to leave the cinema feeling rewarded for your time and thankful films like this are still being made.