Looper review by Alyse Garner - Cinema Paradiso
Set in the not-so-distant future of 2044 when time travel is possible and a young drug addict takes a job as a hit man for the mob who send their victims back in time to be murdered and disposed of so that the authorities can never track them down Looper is the story of Joe, one of these mob assassins or “Loopers”, who finds himself confronted by his future self who has travelled back in time to prevent an telekinetic dictator from sending other Loopers from 2074 to be killed by their younger counterparts.
Confused? Yes I was too.
So, the things you need to know are that Joseph Gorden-Levitt and Bruce Willis play the older and younger versions of Joe, Willis’ character now living a quiet life in China with his wife and Levitt’s character besotted with Sara (Emily Blunt), a young woman who lives on a farm with her psychically talented son, Cid.
You should also know that Willis intends on killing Cid as he may be the violent dictator of the future, whilst Levitt intends on killing Willis, on the orders of his superior Abe (Jeff Daniels).
With all of this information in place a complex and action packed science fiction-thriller ensues that is good exercise for both the mental and visual muscles.
Fear not however the film slows enough in places to allow you to keep up to date with the overlapping, time hopping storyline and there’s just enough action and shooting to allow you to switch your brain off every now and then.
What’s most impressive about the piece however are the casting choices of Levitt and Willis as Joe’s alter egos. The experienced and more self contained character played by Willis is contrasted well against the more impulsive (and frankly unlikable) Levitt. A particularly interesting scene comes early on when Willis and Levitt size one another up in a Kansas diner, Levitt’s nose prosthesis a fabulous touch to help him mimic the older actor, and their contrasting profiles only further complimented by their contrasting behaviour.
I was pleasantly surprised by Looper although its pace becomes a little too slow in places and there wasn’t really enough set up of the tyranny of the future dictator to provide Willis with any real motivation and drive; overall however it was a refreshing twist on the typical Hollywood action film.