Movie Reviews

Published on September 28th, 2012 | by Emmanuel Stratford


REVIEW: Looper

REVIEW: Looper Emmanuel Stratford

Movie Review

Summary: Joseph Gordon-Levitt fights his older self, played by Bruce Willis, in this sci-fi stunner.


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In the future, time travel will be invented but it will be illegal and only available on the black market.  When the mob wants to get rid of someone, they will send their target 30 years into the past, where a “looper”, a hired gun, like Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), is waiting to mop up.  Joe is getting rich and life is good until the day the mob decides to “close the loop,” sending back Joe’s future self (Bruce Willis) for assassination.  This sets off a chain of events that will change both men’s futures forever.

Some movies come along once in a while that just knock your socks off, ones that you’ve heard a little about but not too much, and they exceed expectations.  One such movie is ‘The Matrix’, with its genre defining and twisting ways, it hit right at the time where audiences wanted something original, interesting and different.  Looper is one of those lightning in a bottle movies which, in a summer movie season where originality was sparse, brings as much brain to its sci-fi brawn.

Director Rian Johnson (Brick, Brothers Bloom) has been around for years and while his first movie ‘Brick’ played with genre conventions too, ‘Looper’ takes the whole time travel concept and skews a brand new tale which is both familiar and fresh at the same time.  Setting up the rules in the first few minutes, it explains the premise to perfection and doesn’t break its own rules, which so many other time travel movies have to do to get them out of a hole by the movies end.

‘Twelve Monkeys’ is the closet comparison i can give for ‘Looper’, not only is it a Bruce Willis movie but it sets up the world and then twists and turns till the dramatic conclusion much like this movie.  As you can see I’m trying my best to not go into any specifics about ‘Looper’ as it’s best to go in with no expectations and just let the movie wash over you.

The performances are spot on with Joseph Gordon-Levitt having a stellar year, being in ‘Premium Rush’ and ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ already this year, his portrayal of a younger Willis is note perfect but doesn’t go over the line into full on imitation.  The make-up does distract a little but overall he carries the film on his shoulders and is a talent who will only get better with time.

Bruce Willis is playing the action star here but in a contained way, he doesn’t give his usual one liners or eyebrow lifts but he does bring a genuine sensitivity to his performance.  Emily Blunt is a revelation, taking on the tough southern woman role, her accent never falters and her strength his quite powerful throughout.  Jeff Daniels is always great and it’s no different here plus Paul Dano is superb in a cameo role too.  Another revelation is Pierce Gagnon, who plays the child Cid; he is creepy and sweet in equal measure and would make a good Damian in a new remake of ‘The Omen’ if that was to happen again.

There is so much to shout about with ‘Looper, the story, direction, visuals, music and look of the movie are all just top notch, especially for a low budget movie.  I cannot recommend this movie anymore and i am, it’s an intelligent and emotional movie that will have many sci-fi fans clapping by its conclusion but non sci-fi heads will find a lot to enjoy too, so give it a shot.

‘Looper’ is out in cinemas now.

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About the Author

Emmanuel has been working in TV for over 15 years and has done many things in the field, now he’s mostly editing, producing and directing. He loves movies and has a wide interest in all genres; video games and TV are a massive interest/influence as well. He's been writing for TechTV101 for a few years and will continue that with GimmeDigital. He's a geek and proud of it.

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