Looper – Time Traveling Action With Heart

Looper – Time Traveling Action With Heart

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  1. The teaming of good friends writer/director Rian Johnson and actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt has led to one great film in the past. One doesn’t sound like much when compared to similar pairings such as Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro… but they are one-for-one. With 2012‘s Looper, they are two-for-two. Johnson and Gordon-Levitt first teamed up for 2005’s indie hit Brick which essentially put both of them on the map. They team up once again for Looper which Rian Johnson wrote with his good friend Joseph Gordon-Levitt in mind as the lead.

    What is it about?

    Looper’s premise is a bit out there (as are most time travel films) so stick with me on this one…

    It’s 2044 and time travel hasn’t been invented. But it will be in 30 years… and it will quickly be outlawed. Criminal organizations will continue to use it, though, for the express purpose of killing people and not having to dispose of the bodies. They send their targets back in time for a “looper” to kill. Being a looper is an easy job with great benefits. You are told a time and you go out to a certain field where your target will appear – bound and gagged with their face covered – at that time. All you have to do is shoot them with your sawed off shotgun right as they appear and collect your silver. Then you can go party hard with the other loopers.

    Eventually, though, those in charge will “close your loop” which means they will send your future self back in time for you to kill. You don’t realize it’s you, though, until you see that it’s a much bigger payday. What that means, then, is that you’re officially retired and have 30 years left to live. The problem occurs when you “let your loop run” meaning you don’t kill your future self. That’s the problem Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) faces. He tries to kill Old Joe (Bruce Willis) who appears unbound and with his face not covered causing Joe to hesitate enough that Old Joe can escape.

    Old Joe’s plan is to kill the child version of a criminal that will become extremely powerful in the future called “The Rainmaker.” In 2044, The Rainmaker would be a young child and Old Joe knows that it is one of three children. While he tries to find The Rainmaker and kill him, Young Joe tries to stop him.  Meanwhile, the looper organization, led by Abe (Jeff Daniels), tries to kill both Joes… it’s pretty wild and has a twist at the end that is breath taking.

    Is it any good?

    Everything about this film is great. The look of it mixes the slickness of sci-fi with the grime of the criminal underworld and makes a believable version of what 2044 America might look like. The story is great as well, taking the parts of time travel that matter and making them work very well while brushing off the rest of the troublesome time travel tidbits as “messy” and leaving the audience to ponder them if they so desire.

    The acting is especially superb from all involved. The lead role of Joe was written specifically for Gordon-Levitt (according to an interview between him and Peter Travers) so he nails it, as expected. Bruce Willis is allowed a couple scenes with Die Hard type action which he owns with the ease of a seasoned veteran, but he also has some great moments of touching emotional inner-struggles. The always good Jeff Daniels brings a darkly comedic presence as the man from the future who runs the loopers. He will scare you and make you laugh in the same scene. The standout performance, however, is from the youngest member of the cast, Pierce Gagnon, as Cid. Cid is an exceptional young man that isn’t afraid to speak his mind and is possibly hiding a terrifying power. The looks he gives say so much more that words ever could.

    It is so nice to see a creative film that takes risks and succeeds in those risks since Hollywood is so inundated with remakes, sequels, and adaptations. Looper proves that originality can succeed in the film industry and will hopefully convince other filmmakers to follow suit and create some new ideas.

    Nolan’s Grade:  A+

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