Looper Reviewed

 

Let’s be honest. It’s pretty rare for a Sci-Fi Action Thriller to be considered Oscar-worthy. I’m not talking effects, makeup, sound, etc. I’m talking acting and best picture noms. If I had my way there’d be a nerdy film up for best picture every year. But the Academy doesn’t seem to care about what I think. Pfft!

Looper could be that rare film. If it’s not nominated for Best Picture or at least a Best Actor nod for Joseph Gordon-Levitt, then there is a massive conspiracy mmmkay?

I’m going to try really hard not to spoil anything but if that’s a concern than you may want to stop here.

The year is 2044. 10% of the population is telekinetic. The drugs come in eye droppers and the guns look like toy NIB Space Blaster M72 rocket launchers.

Just sayin’

Poverty is rampant and you have to be creative to get out of the slums. That, or get mentored by a crime boss from the future. You know, the usual. In the 2070’s time travel will be invented. But it’s illegal so only crime syndicates will use it. Which they do. By zapping people into the past to be shot and disposed of by “Loopers.”

That’s where Joseph Gordon-Levitt comes in. He’s a Looper named Joe and he’s got a plan for his future. Naturally, that means that everything is gonna go to shit. Confession time: I may have had a slight crush on JGL back in his Angels in the Outfield days. Seriously, how can you watch everyone flapping their arms and NOT get teary eyed? He’s only gotten better as he’s gotten older and this might just be his best work yet. He’s sporting his usual fitted dress shirt, skinny tie and slim slacks, a look he has probably patented by now which is ok by me cause he looks mighty fine in it. But something is different about him and it takes a minute to figure out exactly what it is. He’s been outfitted with makeup and prosthetics, most notably in the form of a nose piece, eyebrow pencil and a very nice shade of mauve lipstick. All this so that he can look more like his future self played by the always brilliant Bruce Willis.

I mean, honestly, the guy doesn’t even have to try. He’s got parts like this down to a science. There are few things in life that are better than watching Bruce Willis shoot bad guys with an automatic weapon and he doesn’t disappoint as Old Joe, a battle-hardened badass who won’t take no for an answer. He’s determined to kill the Rainmaker, the big bad mob boss of the future, while he or she is still a helpless, not yet completely horrific, kid. The emotions he goes through during this process are pretty gut wrenching.  You keep expecting him to join forces with his younger self but it turns out he doesn’t know himself as well as he thinks he does.

Emily Blunt plays Sara, a hard working farm owner and mother of one of the potential Rainmakers. She’s dealing with fear, guilt, and confusion on a daily basis and really isn’t sure how to deal with it so she spends what little free time she has hacking at an old tree stump. One thing that is clear is her devotion to her son Cid. I think that Emily Blunt is gorgeous. Here she’s wearing grungy work clothes and almost no makeup and she’s drop dead sexy.

This kid is rad

Cid is played by the astonishing Pierce Gagnon. OMFG this kid is AH-mazing. Utterly adorable and completely terrifying at the same time, he has a maturity that seems otherworldly in such a small child. I hesitate to say anything more because you should really see his performance for yourself. I promise you’ll be blown away.

Other people worth noting: Paul Dano as Seth, Joe’s BFF and the guy who first gets Joe in trouble. Noah Segan as Kid Blue, the henchman who just won’t die. Piper Perabo as Suzie, Joe’s sort of girlfriend. If you’ve ever wanted to see Piper naked, then here’s your chance. Garret Dillahunt (aka the Grandpa from Raising Hope) as Jesse, a former coworker of Joe’s with one of the coolest parts in the film. And Jeff Daniels as Abe, that crime boss from the future that I mentioned earlier.

Looper was written and directed by Rian Johnson, a dude I’ve never heard of but who I will be looking out for from now on. I sincerely hope that he’s not a one-trick pony a la M. Night Shyamalan cause I’m seriously impressed by this movie. It’s definitely going down as one of my favorites for the year.

5 out of 5 Sci-Fives!

Sci Five - 5

10 thoughts on “Looper Reviewed

  1. Why have the loopers assassinate themselves? Wouldn’t it be less complicated for everybody if you assassinated some looper other than yourself. You probably wouldn’t even have to be told about the arrangement. I also felt that it was originally written much differently earlier and then rewritten to it’s current form. Otherwise I felt that it was a very enjoyable movie.

  2. Your review is spot on. This is definitely a “need to own” movie (that’s how I rate if I like a movie – if’s it’s worth paying regular price to see it in the movie theater and regular price to buy the DVD (Blu-ray edition, because those are not cheap), then it’s a good movie). For me, it’s the suspense of figuring out what’s happening and putting the pieces together. I love how you never really know what’s going on until the very last second, and then you’re like “OHHHHH! I see it now!” Gordon-Levitt did a phenomenal job and Willis being his kick-ass self was the icing on the cake. The way Joseph handled the mannerisms of Willis was just incredible. The kid? I think he should get a freaking Oscar . . . or maybe a cookie. Either way, he made me want and not want kids at the same time!

  3. Unnecessary to say, after finding your website, I’m a fan and I’d gush if I didn’t control myself.
    If you haven’t heard of Rian Johnson, please try his previous films, Brick (again with Joseph Gordon Leavitt) and Brothers Bloom (this time with Rachel Weisz, Adrien Brody and good ol’ Mark Ruffalo. They are pretty good films, heavy on intelligence, style and plot, light on stupidity and Michael Bay-isms. So definitely, Rian is not a one-trick pony. He’s done three wonderful sleights-of-hand though this is his first scifi. And if you love time-travel movies (oh yes, you’re HNG!) have you tried Primer (Rian Johnson consulted with Primer’s director, Shane Carruth, on depicting the time travel technology for Looper) and Timecrimes (directed by Nacho Vigalondo)? Highly recommended!

    • Aw, thanks! :)

      A few people have mentioned “Brick.” I remember when it came out and being bummed when I didn’t catch it in the theatre but I didn’t realize going into “Looper” that it was the same writer/director. I definitely need to brush up on my Rian Johnson! Thanks for the other suggestions, I’ll check them out! I am a big time travel fan, I even wrote a blog about it a while back :)

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