Thursday, December 20, 2012

Looper: Movie Review


Struggles to find anything to ruminate on when using time travel to go from action to drama.
“Looper” has supposedly redesigned the science fiction genre. Maybe it’s just me but I don’t think it’s unusual for such a film to highlight style over substance. Time travelling has been done before, the battle between current self and future self has been done before, and wanting to choose the love of a good woman over a violent career path has been done before. Maybe the style is better, but that is for somebody else to debate. 2012

Directed by: Rian Johnson

Screenplay by: Rian Johnson

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt

Joseph Gordon-Levitt as "Joe" in the action thriller LOOPER, an
Alliance Films release. Photo by: Alan Markfield.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Joe in 2044 and works as the titled profession. A looper is a hired assassin who kills people from 2074. Joe is on the run when his 60 year-old self (Bruce Willis) escapes from the scope of his gun. This is when the film changes from an action-filled time-travelling flick into something, different…

The second half of the movie finds young Joe crashing in the barn of a single mother. Sara (Emily Blunt) is very independent and very country-minded. She lives on her own and defends her young, and slightly bizarre, son with her own gun. She doesn’t trust Joe but he needs to be hidden and mended. And she wouldn’t be one of the better love interests of the genre if she didn’t do just that.

Emily Blunt as "Sara" in the action thriller LOOPER, an Alliance Films release.
Photo by: Alan Markfield.
Most people liked the first half or the second half, finding the film itself to be very disjointed. I thought the two halves actually fit well together, it’s just not an interesting enough story overall so it’s hard to care whether we sit down for an off-centre romantic drama or go on the run for some time-travelling action.

The worst part is around the time the two halves come together when we see how different the young Joe and the old Joe are. Character studies are interesting when we see how much someone can evolve over the course of their lives. But the 30 year evolution of Joe took place in around 3 minutes with jumps in time and place. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Joe for the first 10 years of the montage as a fairly indifferent, damaged young man and then suddenly as Bruce Willis falls in love and cleans up his life for the next 20 years. Surely there would be a better way to portray that.

Bruce Willis as "Joe" in the action thriller LOOPER, an Alliance Films release.
Photo by: Alan Markfield.
It’s an action movie, and for that genre it has a good style and a decent narrative, but don’t turn it into something better than it is. “Looper” is average at best and is not throught-provoking.