Nowadays, Joseph Gordon-Levitt can do no wrong. The actor has excelled in popular indie flicks such as (500) Days of Summer and Brick, and that trend continues with Looper. Rian Johnson writes and directs a mind-bending science fiction film that is not what it seems, leaving plenty of surprising twists and turns in a stout action thriller.
Johnson wrote the part of Joe Simmons for Gordon-Levitt, who plays an assassin hired by the mafia to eliminate someone sent from the future to tie up any loose ends and hide the evidence. The mob chooses to “close the loop” on Simmons by transporting his future self (played by Bruce Willis), but the young assassin failed to complete the task. Gangsters search for both men, while Simmons hunts his older self to “close the loop” and fulfill his contract. The two meet at a local diner where old Joe tells his younger self about a person known as the Rainmaker, who made the decision to have him killed as well as his wife. Knowing his older self’s plan to kill the Rainmaker, he follows a map to a farmhouse with the intent of waiting for old Joe to close his loop.
Confusing? Maybe, but it is one hell of a ride. While Gordon-Levitt and Willis do a great job, it’s hard to imagine the hip actor as a younger version of the bad ass we all remember from Die Hard. Gordon-Levitt endured three hours of makeup every morning to look more like Willis, but it was never convincing. Despite its faults, the originality of the script along with the steady direction of Johnson provides one of the most thought-provoking science fiction film in years. The trailer to Looper is deceptive but in a good way. While it’s enough to intrigue you to purchase a movie ticket, it fails to prepare you for the final act. The action in Looper is thrilling and gruesome, but its heart will draw you in with the compelling tale of nature vs. nurture. Can a mother’s love change the future of a young child destined to become a crime boss, or will nature continue to take its course? That’s just one of many questions you’ll have after the first viewing.
Looper is far from perfect, but it’s a bold and unconventional action thriller that would drive Doc Brown crazy with its paradoxes and logic. It has the action of The Terminator, the thrilling mind of Minority Report with the heart of Children of Men. While Looper is not near the mentioned films in terms significance and art, it’s still worthy of being acknowledged along with cult classics such as District 9 or Moon.Filed under: Movies