Looper – 4.5/5 – Movie reviews by Ry!

Looper – 4.5/5 – Bruce Willis Kills everything … including the role.   Yes … a Sci-Fi time travel movie combined with Mafia elements and suspense definitely nailed it.  What else can I say?  Well, here is my review of the film.

Let’s begin with the premise.  In 2072, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent 30 years into the past, where a hired gun awaits.  These hired guns are Loopers.  They show up, at a designated time, eliminate there target and get rid of the body, even if it means killing yourself from the future.  This is the dilemma that faces present Joe (Joseph Gordon Levitt) who sees that his future self Joe (Bruce Willis) is sent back for him to kill.  After a setup/introductory start, the big premise of the movie begins here, as the future Joe tries to correct everything and prevent things from happening, unraveling a mystery that encompass the whole world conquered by someone called ‘The Rainmaker’.    This movie is set in 2042.  Even for a futuristic setting, the emphasis on the future doesn’t take over from the main plot.  It is infused with the futuristic elements like flying cars, and some weapons, but it is grounded in reality, which is sometimes hard to do in an ultramodern setting.  Another great paradox (no pun intended) is the use of time travel.  Most movies brake or fall at the point of time travel.  This movie, gladly, doesn’t over use it or over analysis how it is issued.  Even with a slight change to the timeline, that may have caused loopholes, it garners enough attention in a diner scene between Bruce and Joseph where it is explained that, the memories the future Joe experiences are fuzzy, which entails that it isn’t set in stone and can be changed.  I love this idea, because it helps keep the audience on the unraveling story then just the complexity of time travel.

Playing the future Joe, Bruce Willis brings spunk, humility and also wisdom as he comes in contact with the present Joe, Joseph Gordon Levitt.  Joseph Gordon Levitt does an admiral job in the younger self, who is arrogant, poignant and does marvelous in complimenting Bruce in all his mannerism and looks, so you believe they are one in the same.  The chemistry brings a weird tension, as this bring upon a true layered dynamic.  This dynamic is that in this movie, there is no true good or bad person; it’s all a matter of choice and what you see as the right choice in being true to yourself.  That is another plus to the movie because it gives a degree of complexity that most don’t have in sci-fi films, and having two people to contrast that ideal of human character is remarkable.  The supporting cast includes Emily Blunt as a caretaker for a child, and Jeff Daniels as the mobster sent back from the future to control and keep the Loopers in check.  Both do great in supporting the characters of Joe, and provide dramatic effects and comedic relief at precise times.  Everyone else played the typical mobster, hooker or relative plot device character to either be killed, move a scene or add layers to the character of Joe (like his best friend in the beginning of the film). I will also give a nod to the child actor … without giving a lot of away, just know this … he is brilliant

The movies subtle direction brings an aurora of purity to the films grittiness, as this film gets really violent at certain times.  The dialogue that happens throughout helps break-in the layered plot, by providing an analytical context to the violence.  Everything that happens in the movie, from The Loopers contract killing to Bruce Willis future Joe massacring everyone in the mafia’s headquarters, has true sense, grit and rawness.   The cinematography was just epic in is precision and helps move the subtle pace of the film, a great nod to the director.

If there was one downfall, it is that the script had predictability to some plot elements.  One of the obvious ones is finding ‘who is the rainmaker’, which was pretty obvious.  The other is once found, what kind of powers he has that causes the dire futuristic world, which is hinted at the beginning of the film.  This slight drawback didn’t falter the film so it is pretty much a passé moment.

This movie, with a layer of gangster elements, futuristic nostalgia and time travel, gives a gripping story, and a plot surrounding a faceted choice of what is truly a complexion of human character.  I’d recommend seeing this in theaters, and adding it on blu-ray.

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