In 2072, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent 30 years into the past, where a hired gun awaits. Someone like Joe, who one day learns the mob wants to ‘close the loop’ by transporting back Joe’s future self.
Director: Rian Johnson
Writer: Rian Johnson
SHE-WOLF SAYS…GO SEE IT
I couldn’t let the week go by without giving a quick recommendation for Looper, an incredible sci-fi film that came out last Friday and is officially my favorite film this year.
Not that far into the future, time travel has been invented and declared illegal. It’s also become the domain of the mob. It’s hard to murder someone in the future (advanced technology and all) so they use time travel to send targets back in time to be assassinated by Loopers, the official hitmen of organized crime. Joe (Joseph Gordon Levitt) is a Looper. He saves his money for a future without killing, learning French and waiting for the moment he can leave his life in Kansas behind and start again in France. Until then, he gets high, parties with friends, spends time with prostitutes, and kills. Every day. He has a tragic past and a sad life. It gets worse when one day his future self (Bruce Willis) is sent back in time for him to kill, to “close the loop,” but he doesn’t do it. And so begins the chase of a lifetime.
If you’ve seen commercials and trailers for Looper and thought you wouldn’t be interested because it looks like a typical sci-fi/action flick…you are so wrong. This film is so much more than that. Yes, it has murder and mayhem, sci-fi elements and action scenes. But it also has so many layers. So much is slowly revealed and in such a deliberate way that it defies the Hollywood frenzied pace to get that annoying thing called a “story” out of the way in the first five minutes so that shit can be blown up ad nauseum. In fact, the character and story development are at the forefront of this film. You see Joe go from point A to point B in terms of growth with a sudden realization at the end that has the power to transform the future. There’s also a bit of social commentary here. I walked away feeling like it was a film about the cycle of violence and how it can impact generation after generation. There are several loops in this film that need to be closed.
The acting was spot on. I am a big Joseph Gordon Levitt fan and Bruce Willis is always fun on screen but the real stand out to me was Emily Blunt. I’ve always liked her but here, in this film, she blew my mind as a mother desperate to protect her young son.
The writing was fantastic. Rian Johnson proved himself to be a filmmaker to watch with his superb debut Brick. With Looper, he has now cemented himself in the She-Wolf pantheon of favorite filmmakers. He is a director and writer who remembers story and character are the most important aspects of a great film, not CGI and car chases.
If I could knock the film some minor points it would be with the ending. I felt a little hit over the head with Joe’s realization. There is a flash forward that was a little too heavy handed for me. I got it. I didn’t need it explained. But this is minor. The film as a whole was tense, thoughtful, and exciting.
Go see this movie. It’s good. Really, really good.