WRITTEN BY: Rian Johnson
DIRECTED BY: Rian Johnson
TARRING: Joseph Gordon Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Jeff Daniels, Pierce Gagnon
ATING: 4.5 stars

Looper is basically what happens when you mix Terminator, Inception and X-Men together. Trust me when I say it will probably blow your mind. It's very hard to make a good film about time travel. They inevitably present a series of plot holes and unanswerable questions. Often, that can be distracting because we need to accept the conventions of a science fiction film before we can immerse ourselves in it to enjoy it. But, Looper cleverly answers most of these questions and actually makes sense. The film is exciting, original, well thought-out and satisfying.

Thirty years from now, time travel will be invented but outlawed. In 2044, hit men called loopers work for a crime syndicate in 2074. Anyone they want killed is sent back in time and the looper's job is to shoot them dead. The person vanishes from 2074 and the looper disposes of someone who technically doesn't exist. But, when the syndicate tries to "close the loop" on Joe (Bruce Willis), they send him back for his younger self (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) to kill. But the older Joe has a happy life with a wife (Qing Xu) and doesn't want to die. Soon, he and his younger self are on the run from the 2044 criminals, led by Abe (Jeff Daniels). While older Joe tries to track down an enemy from the future, younger Joe takes refuge on a corn farm where Sara (Emily Blunt) and her son Cid (Pierce Gagnon) live. He also plans on finding his older self and killing him, as originally planned, in the hopes that his boss's thugs don't kill him. The plot gets a lot more complicated than that, but I don't want to give away any spoilers.

Even though Gordon-Levitt and Willis don't look alike, they actually do in this film thanks to make-up and prosthetics. This is also a testament to Gordon-Levitt's acting ability. He acts like Willis and it's convincing. Willis is also perfectly cast in his role, while Daniels is impressively menacing. Blunt plays a good tough farm woman and protective mother, but it is Gagnon who deserves the most praise. He is quite simply amazing, especially for his young age. I hope he is one child star who manages to stay drug free and sane in Hollywood. He could have a very bright future.

My only criticism was that there was one scene where this intelligent and complex film was almost belittled into a Bruce Willis action film. I love watching Willis kick arse as much as the next Die Hard fan, but this was not the film for that kind of ridiculous action. It's a more serious action film than that. In fact, the gruesome blood level was outstanding in Looper. A few people around me seemed to squirm during some gross scenes. I also found the film a bit slow-paced in a few scenes, but even that is a minor criticism because there is so much information thrown the audience's way that the slow pace probably helps to absorb the complex plot.

It's not everyday you watch a film with no real good guys and still get gripped by the story and action. If you had never heard of writer/director Rian Johnston before Looper, you'll be sure to remember his name now.


  1. Everybody’s good, the writing is top-notch, and the direction kept me on the edge of my seat, but there was a human element that just didn’t come around full-circle for me. I really liked this movie, but I didn’t love it and that’s a bit disappointing considering all of the hype. Good review Angie.


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