Looper Review

Looper has been called this decades Matrix, although it doesn’t make you scratch your head as much, it is just as good. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Joe, an assassin working about forty years from now who specialises in killing people sent back in time from an even further future. It is from this distant future where older Joe, played by Bruce Willis, who is sent back in time gangsters to be killed by his younger self, which is known as closing your loop. Unfortunately, older Joe avoids being killed by younger Joe and gies on the hunt to kill a crime lord when he is a child so he doesn’t grow up and kill older Joes wife. meanwhile younger Joes employers try to kill him whilst he tries to kill olde Joe.

It sounds complicated, but its not. What Looper is however, is something that is hard to come by nowadays; an intelligent science fiction film. The reason is because of the effective way in which director, Rian Johnson, tells the story. Unlike other science fiction films, like Minority Report and Total Recall, Looper doesn’t rely on expositional shots of a CGI futuristic city to tell a story, instead, it relies on inner turmoils of two versions of the same character. There are references to the futuristic setting, apart from the time travel plot device, such as eye drugs and hover motorbikes.

Young Joe is played by Joseph Gordon Levitt, who was made up to resemble a younger Bruce Willis. Gordon-Levitt’s character is in an unusual position for a film character; on the one hand he has to kill his future self to close his loop, and on the other if he doesn’t close his loop, he himself will be killed by his employers. So either way he’s doomed. Its a unique position for  a character to be in and Gordon-Levitt plays it brilliantly, playing a character he doesn’t usually play. He brings more humane qualities to the character as the film goes on, than a regular action movie actor.

Older Joe, however, even though its the same character, he has different personal characteristics than younger Joe. This gives more freedom when casting. Hence the casting of action star Bruce Willis. Whereas younger Joes motivations are business focused, older Joe’s are a lot more personal. He looks to kill a crime lord when he is still a child in order to prevent the murder of his wife in the future.

Both actors play the same character excellently. Supporting cast, even with significantly less screen time, are just as good, with Paul Dano, Emily Blunt and Jeff Daniels co staring.

The real winner, however, is writer-director Rian Johnson. He has crafted not just the best sci-fi film of the year, but one of the best film of any genre. The unique jarrative approach, as well as an awesome cast will make sure that Looper will b talked about for some time to come. He doesn’t explain much, but he explains enough to make us believe that this world could exist somewhere in the future. Johnson is definitely one for the future and is a filmmaker who clearly believes in substance over style.

 

5/5

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