Best Idea For A Movie 2012 goes to... Looper! A sci-fi with brains, it might not have the action sequences or visual wizardry of, say, Inception but Looper is fine entertainment and one to get the time-travel theory nuts debating on its complexities.
'Time travel hasn't been invented yet but in thirty years it will be.' In the future it has become near-impossible to dispose of bodies so gang victims are illegally transported back to 2044 where waiting Loopers dispatch them before they have a chance to protest their innocence. Joe (Gordon-Levitt) is one such Looper, a drug-addicted lost soul working for Jeff Daniels' gangster; when confronted with his future self, Bruce Willis, Gordon-Levitt hesitates for a moment, which is all Willis needs. Willis makes a run for it with plans to search for and kill the little boy who will grow up to be the madman who rules the city and who set this course of events in motion.
What an idea that is, right? Terminator meets Back To The Future Part II meets 12 Monkeys meets... something else that I can't think of right now. Where some sci-fi would sit and fold its arms and say, What do you think of that?, Looper isn't content with coasting on its great idea; it keeps changing, adding to the already odd story with bits and pieces that enrich rather than smother. Rian Johnson (Brick, The Brothers Bloom) is more interested in character than gimmick, which is a first.
It's also got one of the most inventive deaths around: one looper's older self finds himself losing a finger, then another, then his nose, then a foot, then a leg in quick succession because his younger self is being amputated one limb at a time. It doesn't steep itself in cool, either. There are no 'cool' weapons - the Looper's weapon of choice, the Blunderbuss, is actually pretty useless from more than fifteen feet away - and Loopers themselves are more technicians than trained killers. Don't expect Gordon-Levitt to be a weapons or martial arts expert. This is a sci-fi actioner turned down a notch or two.
But Looper doesn't have it all its own way. It tends to get bogged down in complex (and sometimes dull) exposition. A secluded farm sequence, where Gordon-Levitt recovers from his wounds with the help of Blunt and her boy (Pierce Gagnon), is a long one without activity; a sit-and-wait for a near-mute Willis to show up, Looper's stop-start pacing problems come to fruition here. Gordon-Levitt's make up, his face changed somewhat to resemble Willis a little more, is distracting and doesn't do what it's supposed to do: he still doesn't look anything like Bruce Willis. The climax errs a little on the side of anti too.
But quibble me not, when something fresh comes along, let's all celebrate.
Review by Gavin Burke | 11:41 | Tuesday 18th September 2012 | Movie Review
Looper is set in a dystopian 2044 where time travel is controlled in secret by organised crime. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Joe, a looper whose job it is to assassinate targets sent back from the future. Joe and his colleagues face under threat when the unseen powers-that-be decide to close the contracts of all the loopers and begin sending their future selves back in time for execution. Levitt comes face to face with his future self (Bruce Willis) and fails to execute his target. Joe must track down and kill his older self before his contract is terminated. Rian Johnson has proven adept with three different genres (Noir, Con movie, Sci-Fi) but to dismiss him as a genre director would be wrong. Brick, The Brothers Bloom and now, Looper all have an idiosyncratic charm and wicked humour that has become a staple of Johnsons work. Looper is certainly the most ambitious of the three and Johnson proves himself more than competent with a bigger budget and a mega-star in Willis. The acting is expectedly terrific. Levitt superbly apes the cadences of a Die Hard-era Willis and injects his character Joe with a desperate violence and sadness. Willis is in suitable bad-ass form again who is willing to do anything for what he thinks is right. Blunt is also a wonderful addition to the cast whose character will greatly benefit form repeated viewings as her motivations do not become apparent until the third act. Jeff Daniels also stars in a supporting role as a gangland boss sent from the future who controls the Loopers and effectively the present in 2044. The real acting tour de force however comes from 10-year old Pierce Gagnon who commits a blistering performance of depth and intensity the likes I have never seen in an actor so young. Looper poses many questions and gives a very un-Hollywood take on the future. Over thirty years into the future, China seems to be the dominant economic force, yet the characters deal with in silver and gold as currency. Solar panelling is never focused upon but every car and building seems to have one. Johnson has built an intrinsic and detailed world but these details remain in the background and will certainly reward future viewings much like Sci-Fis magnum opus Blade Runner. It is, however, the time travel aspect of the film that gives us the lasting though provoking questions: nature versus nurture and how the cyclical nature of violence. Willis character seems hell-bent on violently clearing up his past to preserve his future but the violent past will always come back in haunting retribution. Johnson has not delivered a classic but Looper is a fascinating and exhilarating film. It may not to be everyones taste but this could have cult status written all over it. This film, with its high concept, seems like it would be a studio-backed blockbuster, particularly with the inclusion of Bruce Willis and Joseph-Levitt Gordon who have had their fair share of mega hits. Yet this is an independent production that is an original screenplay. Johnson, like Christopher Nolan and to a lesser extent, the Wachowski siblings, has shown that a proven property or franchise is not the only product for the mainstream film market. Film-makers like Johnson have something to say and limited resources to say it with proving cinemas future very bright indeed.Posted 15:30 | Mon 10th Sep 2012
good movie .Posted 20:18 | Sat 29th Sep 2012
I really enjoyed this film. I think it is hard to image what time travel would be like and the problems that it would throw up, but this film gives a very good portrayal of what might happen, and that for me is what makes the film. Bruce Willis is back to his best here, and his character is reminiscent of the one he played in 12 monkeys. He even wears the same straight jacket for a time! Emily Blunt is also very good I think. Not an all out action film, but thought provoking and quiet moving at the end. Well worth a watch.Posted 00:48 | Mon 1st Oct 2012
Am I only person who was completely underwhelmed by this? Not to say it was a bad movie. I was just expecting a whole lot more from it. The first 30 minutes is fantastic and really brings you into the world of Looper. Although once we get to Emily Blunts barn, the whole premise becomes irrelevant and the film rather lags. The subplot becomes the main focus (Blunts son). I would give it a rating of 6.5/10 and describe it as Minority Report meets Carrie.Posted 12:14 | Tue 2nd Oct 2012
One of the most over-complicated and underwhelming films in a long time. Four stars? Really???Posted 10:22 | Thu 4th Oct 2012
Over complicated is right! No idea!!Posted 10:53 | Fri 5th Oct 2012
Over complicated is right! No idea!!Posted 12:03 | Fri 5th Oct 2012
Loved this, it's no action-fest but has so many great ideas, it feels like a breath of fresh air. Definitely a case of 'the less you know about it the better' - I actually gasped aloud a couple of times at this although admittedly one of those was when I spilt my coke into my lap. One of the films of the year for me.Posted 13:09 | Fri 5th Oct 2012
Went to see this film expecting a sci-fi caper akin to Total Recall, with lots of chasing and breathlessness and peril. It was far better than expected, far richer than expected and I will rewatch the s**t out of it when it gets DVD release. Would recommend.Posted 19:04 | Thu 11th Oct 2012
i hear you double letter.. atrocious movie and sadly cant stand the face of Bruce Willis anymore... same smirk for every emotion.... lasted an hour mind you but gave up the ghost when Emily Blunt came out with the shotgun..Posted 14:21 | Tue 16th Oct 2012
I would also like to add *SPOLIER*: Why didn't Jospeh-Gordon-Levitt just shoot Bruce Willis in the end, and not himself. That way, he would of saved Blunt and her son, and had another 30 years with them. He would have raised the Rainmaker with Blunt who would then, most likely, not decide to close his loop 30 years on as he was his 'step-father' and helped raise him - and not just some random Looper. Also, if Jospeh-Gordon-Levitt DID shoot Bruce Willis - how did Bruce Willis ever come to exist in the first place?Posted 11:24 | Tue 23rd Oct 2012
Great movie from start to finish . Need to concentrate on story line though as so much happens in the space of a few minutes. Not the best ending though for such a great story linePosted 16:42 | Tue 6th Nov 2012
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