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Looper Is Sci-Fi Action Done Right

Time-travel movies, if I think about them too long, have a tendency to hurt my head. Thinking about a future-self meeting his past-self but he already knows that was going to happen and the past-self makes new choices so future-self has new memories and I’m getting dizzy.

Looper” not only acknowledges the headache of time-travel, it tells a captivating story that is way deeper than the trailers lead you to believe.

In the future, when the mob wants to dispose of someone they send them back in time so hitmen, called loopers, can kill them and get rid of the bodies. Joe, (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is one of the best loopers until his future-self (Bruce Willis) is sent back and gets away. Future Joe is on a mission to save his world from a future baddie. Present Joe is just trying to kill his target and make his boss happy.

The trailers never really sold me on this movie. I wanted to see it for two reasons: it’s a Bruce Willis action movie and it’s by writer/director Rian Johnson. That being said, I’m sooooooo glad I went. It was amazing!

Rian Johnson, whose only other full-length feature film credits are “Brick” and “The Brothers Bloom,” can do anything. Whether it’s neo-noir, quirky comedy, or sci-fi action, the man can tell any story, and more impressively, tells it well. “Looper” isn’t just time travel shoot-em up been there, done that. There’s also a dramatic storyline that engrosses the audience that makes you care about both Joe’s. You want both to succeed, even though that seems a bit counterintuitive.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, a staple of Johnson’s films, is a terrific actor. It’s hard to believe he’s that kid from “3rd Rock from the Sun.” He channels Bruce Willis’s mannerisms very well which is important because so much of the movie depends on you believing he grows up to be Bruce Willis. You have to suspend belief a little, but in the end I bought it.

And is there any sight more glorious than Bruce Willis firing a machine gun? I don’t think so. Willis is THE action hero. He’s the ultimate badass. Even when he’s killing … well, I won’t get into that, let’s say kittens … you’re still on his side. Not many actors can still have the audiences support while killing innocent … kittens.

Supporting performances by Paul Dano, Emily Blunt, and Jeff Daniels are equally exceptional. I almost didn’t recognize Blunt at first. She plays a pivotal role in the film that I’m not sure how to explain without spoiling more than I should. And after Daniels portrayal as the leader of the loopers I’m a bit terrified of the man. I never thought I’d say that a star of “Dumb and Dumber” scared the shit out of me.

“Looper” is smart and more than your average action movie. I highly recommend it for anyone who is a fan of good movies. It transports audiences into other unbelievable worlds but still grounded in believable ways. Go see it, your future-self will thank you.

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  1. Pingback: ‘Looper’ review: Engaging and smart, sci-fi meets suspense | Serendipity - October 3, 2012

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