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September Film Favorites

Looper (2012)


Year: 2012
Director: Rian Johnson
Country of Origin: U.S.
Rating: R
Time: 118 mins

Looper is an ultra sleek, sophisticated tale of time-traveling that unravels with such complexity and wit that it undoubtedly gives the sci-fi genre a run for it's money. It is riddled with mind-bending time-travel story-lines that will make you replay the events over and over again in your head with the complements of eye-squinting and head rubbing. Director and writer Rian Johnson has proved once again that he is one of the the most innovative filmmaker of today and here to stay. He debuted his first film starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 2005's Sundance favorite, Brick, showcasing his talent and ability as a promising filmmaker. And once again reunited for Looper, Johnson solidifies his talent as a true visionary that can entertain as well as intellectually feed the creatively famished beings that we are. 

The year is 2044 and Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is employed as a looper, a profession that requires killing people from the future. Time travel will be invented thirty years later in 2074 and immediately banned, only to be used in secret by big-time organized criminals who send their targets back in time and have loopers wipe them out without a trace. In the lopping profession, it is mandated that one day, they would have to "close their loop" which means that the loopers will be unknowingly assigned to kill the future version of themselves hence the name, loopers. They are paid handsomely and let go to live the last thirty years of their lives however they please. 

In stylistic fashion, Looper is shot with striking visual presence that is carefully mapped out with surgeon like precision that it seems effortless. The world Johnson creates is like the hipster version of dystopia, that is only if you are wealthy in means of prostituting or looping, other than that, you are included in the 99% of homeless people. Joe lives in a fragmented world with his fellow looper Seth (Paul Dano, played to perfection) and night club dancer aka a prostitute, Susie (Piper Perabo, Coyote Ugly girl) with the continuous accommodation of a new drug via eye drops. His lavish lifestyle is not fated to last especially when one by one his comrade loopers are assigned to close their loop and he knows he could be next. Cautiously he waits at his destination to kill and instantly sees the older version of himself (Bruce Willis) and hesitates. Older Joe flees which causes irrevocable damage to Joe's reputation and relationship with looper head boss, Abe (Jeff Daniels)  by "letting your loop run."  As the younger and older version of Joe are now on the run from each other and other loopers, the tension in my neck pressed on as I stressed of the impending and dooming climax. 

Joseph Gordon-Levitt disappears into his role as the younger version of Bruce Willis, that I rarely see a trace of Gordon-Levitt at all. His conviction to hunt down Willis and make amends with Abe is undeniable, claiming that Willis already lived his life so he should be able to too. I will watch almost anything Willis makes these days ( I mean I even watched Cop Out, eek!) and by far, his role in Looper brought a whole level of depth to his acting ability. There was a piercing conviction in his eyes when he tried to rationalize with younger Joe to help him carry out his mission. Although there was a hint of eeriness as the version of the two sat in front of each other trying to make the sense of the situation. Old Joe slips young Joe an address in which to meet at where then he comes across Sara, (Emily Blunt) the badass owner of the farm. The story is more complicated than I had expected and it was uncertain how they will end such a grand spectacle like this especially considering the film is not reminiscent of any other film and is truly original in every form. But it is his precise thought and vision that allows Johnson to make a full circle while making our head spin twice over and wraps everything up in a neat bow. A


1 critiques :

Dan O. at: September 29, 2012 at 8:10 AM said...

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 So Yun.

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