Saturday, 29 September 2012

Film Review: "Looper" (2012)

"Time travel has not yet been invented. But thirty years from now, it will have been. It will be instantly outlawed, used only in secret by only the largest criminal organizations. It's nearly impossible to dispose of a body in the future... So when these criminal organizations in the future need someone gone, they use specialized assassins in our present called "Loopers." And so, my employers in the future nab the target, they zap them back to me… He appears… and I do the necessaries. Collect my silver…" This sums up the complex time travel premise that is Looper. This sci-fi, time travel action film written and directed by Rian Johnson. In mid-21st century, 2044. Joe is employed as a "looper", a hitman who executes victims sent back from 30 years in the future, when time travel has been invented and controlled by organized crime. When his older self turns up as a target, he fails to carry out the hit. Both versions of Joe go on the run and try to affect their future.

After Johnson released The Brothers Bloom in 2008, he re-teamed with producer Ram Bergman, who produced Johnson's previous two films, with the goal of starting production of Looper in 2009. In May 2010, Joseph Gordon-Levitt was cast in one of the lead roles, which he would play after completing Premium Rush. Later in the month, Bruce Willis was also cast. In the following October, Emily Blunt joined Gordon-Levitt and Willis. Noah Segan, Jeff Daniels, and Piper Perabo were cast in January 2011. Filming began in Louisiana on January 24, 2011. Other influences cited by Johnson include The Terminator (1984), Witness (1985), Akira (1988), Domu: A Child's Dream, 12 Monkeys (1995), Timecrimes (2007), and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.

The film stars Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Emily Blunt. The performances in the film were all spectacular. I was mostly impressed with the performances of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis as the younger and older versions of Joe. Gordon-Levitt had to put up with the effects make-over which turns him into an acceptable younger version of Bruce Willis. He also did an incredible job of not imitating Willis from his Die Hard films. He depicted the kind of callous, incipiently sensitive young hitman who might grow up to be the battered baldie Bruce Willis. But if you had time travel and could cast a young Bruce Willis in this, you would still give the role to Gordon-Levitt, whose collaboration with Johnson is becoming a regular and noteworthy team equivalent to Nolan and Bale, Fincher and Pitt and Burton and Depp. 

Looper is a blazing, cinematic comic book, full of virtuoso moviemaking, terrific momentum, solid performances and a compelling story. Levitt is perfectly cast as the man on the run to hunt down his future self. Plenty of tech-noir savvy to keep infidels and action fans satisfied. A crackling thriller full of all sorts of gory treats, loaded with fuel-injected chase scenes, clever special effects and a sly humor. To conclude, the plot's a bit of a jumble, but excellent performances and mind-blowing plot twists make the film a kooky, effective experience.

Simon says Looper receives:

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