Reviewed by: Daniel Thompson
Joseph Gordon-Levitt … Joe
Bruce Willis … Old Joe
Emily Blunt … Sara
Paul Dano … Seth
Noah Segan … Kid Blue
Piper Perabo … Suzie
Jeff Daniels … Abe
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“Hunted by your future. Haunted by your past.”
Don’t you hate it when you see a movie preview and it ruins all the good parts, or practically the entire plot of the movie? Sure, the preview may be entertaining, but it leaves nothing for the viewer who has paid his or her hard earned money to see the film. It does make it all the more special, however, when a film comes along and takes you completely by surprise. The preview advertises a surface level plot, but the moviegoer finds out that there is much more under the hood. Such is the case with “Looper”, the science fiction thriller from writer-director Rian Johnson (“Brick”, “The Brothers Bloom”). The film is a sci-fi, time traveling adventure that contains more secrets than the advertisers care to show you (thankfully). While the content of the film is unfortunately obscene, the moviemaking quality on display makes “Looper” the best original science fiction movie of the decade and one of the best films of the year.
Our story takes place in the year 2044. Time travel was invented in 2073, but quickly outlawed. It’s only used by major crime syndicates who want to dispose of dead bodies. They send their dead bodies back in time and then workers, called loopers, dispose of them. Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is one of those loopers, and has been for quite some time. His world turns upside down when his next target is an older version of himself (Bruce Willis). Faced with a difficult situation that has ramifications for years to come, Joe uncovers a sinister plot and finds out about his future in the worst way possible.
There is obviously far more to the plot than what I just described, but suffice it to say, it’s much better that you know as little as possible as the story unfolds. While the film starts out as a basic time travel actioner, many twists and turns make “Looper” a meaningful film that packs a serious emotional punch.
Rian Johnson has created a film involving time travel that is completely airtight. Every time you question how an event in the past affects an event in the future, Mr. Johnson has an answer for you, and sometimes through a very surprising reveal. The film goes from good to great, however, based on the performances of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis. Levitt wears quite a bit of makeup, but successfully embodies Bruce Willis as a much younger man. Willis is also back in rare form, acting with gravitas while making the most of some great action sequences. Most of all, the film has unbelievable heart. Along with a great story about finding yourself, the film showcases an amazing message of sacrifice and unconditional love.
Unfortunately, along with the excellent filmmaking and great message also comes a significant amount of R-rated content. “Looper” is a very dark and violent film. There is plenty of blood splattered during the numerous murders within the movie. Some of this violence involves children. The language in Looper is also very strong, including countless uses of the “F” word as well as some instances of the Lord’s name in vain. Along with the language and violence, there is one scene involving heavy sexuality. The crime headquarters is located in a strip club, and women are seen topless, specifically one for an extended amount of time.
The content of “Looper” is profane and objectionable, which is a shame. The quality of the film is excellent, but many moviegoers will be kept away by a regrettable amount of profanity and sexuality. Combining the best elements of films like “Memento”, “Back to the Future”, and “Die Hard”, “Looper” is an extraordinary work of art that is also profane in equal measure. Some things, unfortunately, are better left out of the previews.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Extreme
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