I cannot imagine how a film could be more enjoyable than combining Rian Johnson’s unique scripts, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s incredible talent, and Bruce Willis’ fun action. Writer/director Johnson’s “Looper” smartly combines a perfect balance of intensity and suspense with brief comedy and engaging action. Following in Christopher Nolan’s footsteps, Johnson knows how to keep an audience on the edge of their seats.
In the somewhat distant future, criminals use time travel to have people assassinated by “loopers” in our nearer future in order to perfectly dispose of bodies. Abe (Jeff Daniels) returned to the past in order to run the operation, and Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is his youngest hired gun. In Joe’s future, a new crime lord starts “closing the loops,” meaning he sends the aged loopers back to be killed by their younger selves. When Joe is faced with killing his older self (Bruce Willis), he is ill-prepared for the consequences and must hunt himself down when he gets away. But his senior self has a plan that Joe must comprehend in order to catch him. Of course, things get more complicated when a woman, Sara (Emily Blunt), is involved.
There are really two things that I think aren’t clear in the trailer that those considering viewing should know: “Looper” is fairly violent and it focuses more on the sci-fi element than the trailer suggests. I couldn’t help but connect and compare “Looper” with Willis’ other time travel movie, “12 Monkeys,” which is my favorite time travel film. They both belong in the same genre of complex but relatable sci-fi.
There is a lot to appreciate and enjoy in “Looper,” but its greatest asset is Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s performance. It is truly rare to see an actor portray another actor so well without doing a comedic impression, yet Gordon-Levitt masters Willis’ style of speech.
The story will keep you guessing yet doesn’t have an off-the-wall ending. Everything makes sense, though there are some confusing parts that occur mostly at the beginning when first focusing on the time travel. Otherwise, “Looper” is easy to follow, maintaining fun and suspense without uncertainty as to where the story leads.
Those that would find “Looper” most appealing would be audiences that loved “Inception” and “Chronicle.” Rian Johnson gives “Looper” complexity like Nolan’s work but knows how to keep his sci-fi budget to a minimum. It’s a thrilling ride.
Rating for “Looper:” A+
For more information on this film or to view its trailer, click here.
“Looper” is playing at most theatres in Columbus, including Studio 35 and with an abundance of showtimes at AMC Lennox. For showtimes, click here.