Thursday, 11 October 2012


UK Release: 28th September 2012
Watched in the Cinema: Wednesday 10th October 2012
Rating: 15
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Runtime: 1hr 58mins
Tagline: Face your past. Fight your future.
IMDb Plot Synopsis: In 2074, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent 30 years into the past, where a hired gun awaits. Someone like Joe, who one day learns the mob wants to 'close the loop' by transporting back Joe's future self.

My Review: Looper. One of the year’s most anticipated Sci-Fi films (bar Prometheus) and boy, did it live up to the hype! Director Rian Johnson may not have much directing experience (especially in this genre) but the film has such a suave style to it that it feels very sure of itself throughout: the cinematography of the future is mighty fine.
To begin with I was a little put off by how different Joseph Gordon-Levitt looks. He’s been changed so much to look like Bruce Willis that he doesn’t really look like himself anymore at all. But thankfully all that make-up and CGI doesn’t disguise his stellar performance, proving once again what an underused gem he is. He slips so comfortably into this leading action role that I won’t be surprised if we see him in a similar role soon. He brought a charisma to Joe, a self-arrogance, that I can’t imagine many other actors being able to grapple with, without the audience taking an immediate dislike to him. 
Joe is a complicated character from the start. The film opens with him in a field holding a ‘blunderbuss’ gun, waiting. A man appears, head sacked with his arms tied behind his back, and Joe instantly shoots him. He is a killer. And a great deal of the first act of the movie is setting this up. He is even less empathetic when he fatally rats out his friend, in order to keep his stash of silver. 
His lack of morals makes him a hard character to like, but that is what the film sets out to explore. Joe goes through a journey; by meeting his older self and Sara (played by Emily Blunt) he ‘comes of age’ if you will, and you watch him grow into a man. It is when his ‘loop’ is attempted to be ‘closed’ that Bruce Willis as Old Joe comes enters the picture. 
After following the life of a killing play-boy junkie so far, it is interesting to then to see Joe’s life through the eyes of Old Joe. This is when the time travel stuff can get hard to explain! And yet it seems effortless on film, switching from one possible outcome for Joe (killing his older self and becoming Old Joe) and this other outcome which then plays out (Old Joe escaping being killed by younger Joe). It’s remarkably simple compared to some science fiction films I’ve seen and yet incredibly thrilling as it is clever enough without being too complex for audiences to understand. Occasionally, it reminded me of Inception (one of my favourite films so no bad thing) in that respect as there are many layers to it but, for me at least, it all makes sense in the end so long as you keep track of what’s happening properly. 
It was just so slick and well put together with little details of the future which add to the depth and reality of the world being presented. For instance ‘TK’ or Telekinesis which 10% of the population has, due to a mutation of some sort. It soon becomes a vital cog in the story (and the special effects for which were fantastic) but it is subtly introduced in quite a comical way which works very well. 
There is so much more I could say but I don’t want to spoil anything so I shall just rave instead about Emily Blunt. Emily Blunt is simply incredible in this role, proving once again what range and versatility she really has as an actress. I can’t really think of a role I’ve seen her in that she hasn’t been excellent in and this is consistent in Looper. Her american accent is flawless (at least to my English ears) and she brings with it a raw energy and strength that I haven’t seen in her before, indicating that there’s much more to be seen from her yet. 
Her story is heart-breaking, as is Old Joe’s actually and I remarked many times to myself that I’m actually more on Old Joe’s side than Joe’s, at least at the beginning, which I wasn’t expecting. He just has much more to lose, but then Joe hasn’t had a chance to gain anything yet so the complex morals and ethics can be rather mind-churning! As to the plot it was a little predictable at times as you could see certain things a mile off, but it was such a thrilling ride that you forgive them for it and get swept up in every twist and turn leading to that ending. It felt quite shocking at the time, and the silent credits only added to that stark end but in hindsight I don’t see how it could of ended any other way.
Overall, it is one of my favourite films of the year and I can’t wait to see it again and again, in order to take in every single atmospheric shot. If you haven’t seen it yet, go out and do so as soon as you can. 
I promise you won’t regret it...

Score: 9.5/10

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