Saturday, February 9, 2013

Saturday Movies: Looper (2012)

Rian Johnson doesn't seem to make many movies, but when he does it's every few years. Looper is his first one since The Brothers Bloom, and honestly you wouldn't even associate the two with each other. Looper has so many twists though that it knows how to keep you on edge, and with great acting the characters put you in a place where you feel conflicted over the choices, and lifestyles you lead. The mingling of the future and past, and where choices lead us make this is a little bit more than just an action movie about time travel.

Joe is a Looper. The term comes from someone closing the loop of someone's past, and future as a hired assassin in the past. In 2074 a mob sends people back to Joe in the past where he awaits at a certain location where he will get rid of the person before they even know what has happened. In the future time travel is also outlawed though, and the mob begins wanting to close all evidence of what they have been doing, including killing the Loopers who have worked for them. Joe, and the rest of the Loopers are being hunted down in the future, and sent to the past where the Loopers are expected to murder their own future selves.

It may all sound confusing, but it was whole lot simpler than imagined. Most people might be interested just because Joseph Gordon-Levitt looks nothing like himself, and for a while you're just trying to figure out how you feel about the whole new face look. While creative it seemed to keep him from lacking certain emotions. Levitt is a good actor though, and he definitely brought his game for it.

There is also Bruce Willis as the future Joe, and Willis definitely had one of the more intriguing parts of them film. He is Joe after so many learning experiences, older, wiser, and in love, so his loyalty isn't to the business anymore as young Joe is, who just wants the money, and his life. He doesn't seem to fully think through the fact he is trying to kill himself. Emily Blunt also stars as Sara, the mother of the leader of the mob who becomes quite a scary man in the future. How the movie lines up at the end is what is truly awesome about the whole thing, but I want spoil that. It also seems we are seeing Paul Dano in a lot these days, and it's welcomed. Dano is just an interesting actor, and he doesn't fail here either as Seth who basically shows the consequence if you don't kill your future self. So he has a small part, but a part you'll remember.

Looper knows how to ultimately make a powerful impact on screen. There are twists and turns, and enough character build up to get you curious about where it is heading. It also doesn't dwell on scenes so long that it gets old. The only real problem is some of the special effects. The scenes where people come back the past are great as well as the scenes where it shows people who have developed an ability to move objects, but the scenes where Levitt, and others are on motorcycles riding looked like something from a 50s movie, and then it even looked better. It was just way too obvious.

Looper looks great to watch, and you have solid acting from everyone. Older Joe leaves you conflicted, because his motives may be understandable, but his tactics are terrible, and younger Joe develops so much throughout the movie it's just hard to dislike him. The story is unique even if it deals with time travel as it is a take on it that isn't really seen, and the lapses of showing how time changes when the past is changed were well woven in.

Rating 4 of 5.

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