It’s hard to talk about Looper without gushing over how much I loved it. From the writing and directing to the effects and acting, it’s one of those movies where everything just clicked and blew me away. It also holds up to repeat viewings and very well could be the most thought-provoking sci-fi film since The Matrix.
Directed by Rian Johnson, the film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Joe, a hitman working for the mob who kills people sent to him from the future. When his older self is sent (Bruce Willis), he’s caught off guard and doesn’t pull the trigger. All hell breaks loose and he’s soon tracking himself down before his boss (Jeff Daniels in a role similar to that of Albert Brooks in Drive) catches him. And then there’s a whole other storyline involving Emily Blunt and a young boy that takes Looper from being a generic time travel thriller to something so much more wild and amazing. (It’s better to be surprised by the turn of events so I’m not going to spoil it any further. Let’s just say you’ll be on the edge of your seat by the end).
After Johnson hit the scene with the brutal high school drama Brick back in 2005 everyone expected big things from him. So when he followed it up with The Brothers Bloom, one of the worst films of 2008, it was a huge disappointment to say the least. He’s redeemed himself tenfold with Looper and proves he’s one of the most interesting directors of our time.
Levitt, who is basically playing Willis, hits it out of the park with his performance and nails down all of Willis’ mannerisms, including his voice. The prosthetics that make him look like Willis are a bit off-putting at first, but once you get past it, and once Levitt really gets into the role, you almost start to believe it really is a young Willis in the part.
Willis himself takes a backseat and is only a supporting player, yet he gives one of the better performances of his career. Similar in a way to how he handled his character in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, he plays it cool and calm and very rarely speaks.
The true standout is Blunt though, who is such a strong presence she almost steals the entire film during the third act. No other actress has delivered a performance this powerful all year and if she isn’t rewarded for it somehow it would be a shame.
Looper is easily one of my favourite films of the year and is sure to be a film I’ll cherish for a long, long time. It’s fun, stylish, a tad crazy, and an all around entertaining time at the theatre. Do yourself a favour and get out to see it as soon as you can.
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt
Directed by: Rian Johnson
Top image: A scene from Looper. Courtesy Alliance Films.