johnlink ranks LOOPER (2012)

Been on a bit of a Bruce Willis kick over the last month or so with LAST MAN STANDING and 16 BLOCKS. Finally got to see LOOPER, which is one I really was excited to see. I am all for some time-traveling action if done well.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt; Bruce Willis

I watched LOOPER (2012) on 6.16.13. It was my first viewing of the film.

Writer/Director Rian Johnson handles this movie intelligently. Not that the science is superb, or that the time-travel aspects are flawless. Instead, he casts well, he directs quickly, and he addresses science issues by having the characters dismiss them as unimportant. This gives us the opportunity to do so as well, to not worry about the science and just follow the characters.

Young Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a unique assassin. He is what is known as a Looper. He kills people sent back in time and deposes of their bodies. All Loopers know that eventually their future self (from thirty years down the road) will be sent back and they will kill themselves, just like any other job. Only once they do this, once they close the loop, they are given a payout and free to live their lives for the next thirty years until they are caught. When old Joe (Bruce Willis) appears ready for execution… well lets just say you don’t cast Bruce Willis if he’s just going to get shot in the head and buried.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, wearing a bit of prosthesis to help him look surprisingly like Bruce Willis around the mouth, is the only one playing to type here. He is rough and tumble as well as young and carefree. The movie banks on Bruce Willis having made a career as the hero, and it cashes in that good favor to help make him appear to be a protagonist longer than he has any right to. Emily Blunt plays a tough young mom who gets stuck in the middle of the battle. Piper Perabo plays the typical stripper-with-a-heart-of-gold who seems to have  been cast in a desire to see who famous a person they could get to take off her clothes without having any depth of character to speak of. Jeff Daniels is the cruel crime boss Abe, who is slumming it in the past to run the group of loopers.

The story ends up being about a kid who will grow up to become a mass-murderer. Old Joe wants him dead, Young Joe doesn’t particularly care if the boy is killed or not, but he wants to kill Old Joe and get his life back. The movie relies on a fair amount of coincidence (particularly concerning the small-world fact that people just run into each other when it is convenient), but is not ever totally derailed by this. There are certainly flaws in the story, but they appear in an attempt to make an ambitious and unclean science fiction story. Nobody here comes across as pure. This is a world filled with people who have made mistakes in the past. The question becomes whether or not they can make the correct choices in the present as a way of preserving the future.

There is plenty of depth to this movie. Plenty of questions regarding the nature of goodness versus the nature of evil. There are no clear-cut protagonists until the final act, and the only clear cut antagonist is Abe and his mostly anonymous crew. In fact, when one of those crew members, Jesse (Garrett Dillahunt) is sent out on the hunt, Joe takes the time to point out that Jesse is a good and fair guy who will leave without incident if he finds nothing. I like that there is a humanity to this film amid all the brutal violence.

Absolutely this is worth seeing. This is a high-level science fiction movie which never gives the easy answer or takes the easy way out.







~ by johnlink00 on June 17, 2013.

7 Responses to “johnlink ranks LOOPER (2012)”

  1. I loved Looper. I thought it was just going “OK” until that scene in Blunt’s house at the bottom of those stairs. Changed the whole movie for me… good work today!!

    • That was an absolute ‘holy shit’ moment. I loved how they teased that kind of stuff but didn’t oversell it until that moment. When they first introduced the TK concepts, I was worried it might ruin the movie. But they really got it right.

  2. I’d say Willis is a pretty clear antagonist at the end, though. His motivations were purely selfish. I need to watch this again; someone made a comment about *possible spoiler*…………….Blunt possibly being Levitt’s mother, which, if true, makes no sense.

    • Not buying blunt as his mom either. Would be unnecessary.

      While Willis becomes antagonist, we also see the world-wide destruction which could be wrought. While he is certainly using that to condone his motivation, it could be argued that he is still out for the greater good.

      • I only saw it once in theaters, but isn’t his whole motivation to change the past so he can get his wife back, no matter the cost?

  3. Yes, though the Rainmaker is also portrayed as brutal and relentless. It is implied that he destroys France both through dialogue and a quick clip on the news.

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