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Looper (2012)

Hunted by your future. Haunted by your past.

Starring:

Bruce WillisBruce Willis

Emily Blunt

Frank Brennan

Garret Dillahunt

Jeff DanielsJeff Daniels

Jon Eyez

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Marcus Hester

Nick Gomez

Noah Segan

Paul Dano

Pierce Gagnon

Piper PeraboPiper Perabo

Qing Xu

Tracie Thoms

Directed by:

Rian Johnson

Rating: 9/10

Running Time: 118 minutes

US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15

Country: United States, Switzerland

In 2072, time travel is possible but it’s also been outlawed and is now only used on the sly by the mob – when gangs want to take someone out they kidnap their victim and send him or her  handcuffed to an agreed place in the past for their agents to do the dirty work. One such agent is Joe (Gordon-Levitt) who happily does the job to fund his drug addiction until his future self (Willis) is sent back to be killed. Understandably, Joe isn’t too keen on going through with this part of his job and things start to get complicated when his future self starts pursuing his own agenda.

Looper is an intelligent, multi-layered thriller centred three different periods in the future linked by time-travel. It’s certainly not the first film to use time travel as its central theme but it’s the execution from relative newcomer Rian Johnson that sets it apart from the competition. Apart from a little dawdling at times, he keeps the movie tight with some interesting strands explored and nice twists plus the futuristic feel is subtle and not over the top. The characterisation is deep and excellently thought out as we have characters who are flawed but worth rooting for. There’s a mother who wants to protect her son, a older man who wants to save his future love and a young man who just wants to live – three different agendas that are at loggerheads but equally easy to sympathise with.

There are some great, believable performances here too. Gordon-Levitt continues his rise up the acting ladder with an impressive show as the likable lead, Willis doesn’t say too much but is intense when he does, Blunt is strong and suitably American-sounding and Pierce Gagnon steals the show as the world’s creepiest kid.

To it’s credit, Looper is also not over-indulgently complex like the ridiculously complicated Inception, which gets more so with every extra viewing. It’s easy enough to follow but with enough to keep you thinking and on your toes. For a change, it’s a blockbuster that lives up to the hype and doesn’t rely too much on action and special effects. Could very well be The Matrix of the twenty-teens’.

 

It's Got: An intelligent plot, good performances all round, well-rounded characterisation

It Needs: A little better pacing in the mid-section

Alternatives:

12 Monkeys, Inception, The Butterfly Effect

Summary

Intelligent, well-acted and just complex enough, Looper is the best time-travel movie since Back to the Future.

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