Monday, October 1, 2012

Looper, the Movie

Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Bruce Willis in Looper
I posted about the coming sci-fi flick Looper when the first teaser-trailer was released back in April. It opened last Friday, so I went to see it over the weekend and really liked it. The basic plot concept is that a man is sent back thirty years to the past in order to be executed by his younger self (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt), but that goes awry when he recognizes his future self (played by Bruce Willis) and hesitates before pulling the trigger... his future self makes a run for it then, and havoc subsequently ensues.

The use of time travel in film and television plots usually rubs me the wrong way because I feel it tends to be a gimmick or deus ex machina sort-of copout that papers over the screenplay writer's lack of imagination. It seems that you inevitably end up with a plot that makes no sense. But in the case of Looper, writer-director Rian Johnson handled the time travel aspects beautifully. Indeed, they are central to the plot's premise.

If you are a sci-fi fan, definitely go see it. However, be forewarned that it is pretty violent, has some female nudity, and some truly horrifying moments.

I thought Gordon-Levitt was excellent in the lead role... I think this is really his movie, not Bruce Willis's. Watching the play of expressions over Gordon-Levitt's face, and his mannerisms, I got the impression that he went into the archives of the Eighties hit TV show, Moonlighting, to study the young Bruce Willis.

And by the way, if you are a film noir fan and have never seen the 2006 Rian Johnson film, Brick, definitely do rectify that. It's a very classic kind of noir story set in a SoCal high school, and also starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a type of teen-aged Philip Marlowe trying to solve the mystery of his former girlfriend's murder.


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