Looper – 5 out of 5
Time travel is awesome stuff. Hollywood and Sci-Fi writers love it and who doesn’t want to hop into a DeLoreon and kill Hitler or shoot a rocket launcher into the iceberg that took out the Titanic or use it to go back in time and have dirty sex with Madonna before she ended up looking like a witch and danced like your elderly aunt who’s filled with a false-sense of confidence and all things cool at your cousin’s wedding? The reality however is that time travel doesn’t exist but if it did, the problems of paradoxes, terminators and your teenage mom trying to touch your naughty stuff before the Enchantment Under the Sea dance starts to pop up.
|He's about to execute Biff Tannen...true story.|
Looper is one of those time travelling movies that basically redefined the very specific genre. As the movie states, it’s the year 2044 and, like all movies set in the future, the world sucks. But one thing is for sure: Time travel hasn’t been invented yet…but it will be in the future. Mobsters and criminals in the future use these time machines to send their victims back to 2044 where men called Loopers deal out justice in the form of a blunderbuss blast to the skull. Strapped to the victim’s back is their payment (in the form of silver bars) and they dump the bodies. It’s ultimately the perfect crime as the victim no longer is around in the future and technically doesn’t exist in their current form in the past (their younger self exists, completely unaware of how they will eventually die while they still live...what a mind fuck, huh?). The only problem is there comes a time when a Looper’s contract comes to an end and he’s forced to shoot his older self; this is called “Closing the Loop.” Naturally, you don’t want your older self to run away because that could lead to problems…and of course, that happens.
|"So...should I shoot him now? Or should I wait?"|
Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is living the Looper lifestyle. He’s addicted to 2044’s most addictive drug while hording his silver so he can retire in style. However, when the time comes for him to close his loop, his future self (Bruce Willis) gets the better of him and manages to get away. Now Young Joe is forced to get to Old Joe before his boss Abe (Jeff Daniels) and his henchmen put an end to both of them. But things get complicated as Old Joe talks about a future mob boss who was able to take complete control of the world—ALL BY HIMSELF!!!
|Also, Gordon-Levitt likes to hold his blunderbuss like it's a penis. But who doesn't?|
Old Joe calls him the Rainmaker and decides to go all Terminator on his ass and kill this boy while he’s still missing teeth and watching Teletubbies—all this so he can ensure that his timeline remains intact and he stays with his wife. Meanwhile, Young Joe goes to one of the stops on Old Joe’s hitlist and is out to protect the mother of the possible Rainmaker; Sara (Emily Blunt) and a boy who could possible be the Rainmaker himself; Cid (Pierce Gagnon).
|Dammit...even making this face and in the Bruce Willis make-up, Joseph Gordon-|
Levitt is still better looking than I'll ever be.
I saw Looper in the theaters and was blown away with the final product. There is literally NOTHING about this movie I didn’t enjoy or find completely awesome. The cast, the stellar story, the make-up they use to make JGL look like Bruce Willis…it’s all amazing.
|You know what else is amazing? The gigantic guns in this film that are in no way|
compensating for anything.
First off, the cast is just incredible. Bruce Willis is a certifiable badass who, despite his age, is still a legitimate action star without the help of irony like 99% of the rest of the cast of The Expendables franchise. You look at him blasting baddies away with some automatic weapons and you take his ass seriously and not as a past-his-prime joke or a tongue-in-cheek gag about how tough he is even though he hocks rip-off gym equipment in the wee hours of informercial hell and thinks re-electing a black guy will bring about a thousand years of darkness.
|And Willis can do Hadouken...can you do that, Chuck Norris?|
Then you have Joseph Gordon-Levitt…we already know he’s going to set the place on fire with his talent but what really makes his role is how well he mimics Bruce Willis and how well he comes off as a younger version of his co-star. The make-up used to make him look like Willis sure helps (and was actually something I was worried would be distracting but proved not to be) but the subtly of Gordon-Levitt’s impersonation of Willis—the head movements, the way he speaks and the way he moves—all build to create an eerie, almost unsettling imitation of his counterpart. However, this was needed to help solidify the film’s story and you don’t see the two men being portrayed by two actors but rather as just two Joes from two different periods in time.
|Did they really put make-up on JGL or did they travel back in time to get a young|
Both these men, however, are dwarfed by the performance of the boy playing Cid; Pierce Gagnon. This young child shows off a chilling performance that makes older, more experienced actors look like it’s amateur night at the local collage community theater.
|Gagnon's angry grimace is more intimidating and more convincing|
than all of the grimaces that Jason Statham has done in all his movies
combined. And let's face it, after Snatch, grimacing in bad action movies
is all Statham now does.
Time travel films are always hard to complete and make unique—even this one draws comparison to The Terminator as Old Joe goes off to kill some babies—but, in the end, writer/director Rian Johnson (Brick) really brings something fresh and mind-blowing to the concept of time travel. It’s one of those films that, as the pieces come together, you find yourself saying, “Ohhhhh” out loud like a crazy person talking to the voices in their head.
|Later the movie makes you say, "Ahhhhh," after seeing Emily Blunt with a shotgun.|
Johnson crafted a future so well that it ceases to feel like a science fiction film but is more a great action film with terrific performances. But to call it just an action film is cutting the film short too as it is beyond that. Then you have the believable way Johnson brings about the concept of time travel and the way he lays out the film’s reality that as another, more fantastic piece of Sci-Fi work enters into the story, the viewer is right there with the storytelling and doesn’t bat an eye as the film evolves even more.
|Did I mention there's A LOT of sugar cane fields in this movie?|
Looper is one of those truly original, amazingly creative movies that comes along so rarely. Also, how often do you get a science fiction film that spends most of its story on a farm?