Looper Review

Zach Stetson ’16  & Emily White ’16 / Emertainment MonthlyStaff

Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Joe in “Looper.” Courtesy of Sony Pictures.
It’s the year 2044. Thirty years from now, time travel will be invented. However, it will be highly illegal and only used by mafia looking to send enemies back in time to be killed. That’s where the loopers come in.
In a world of intense disparity between rich and poor classes, loopers are paid big money by the future mafia to kill these future victims. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, in heavy prosthetics, plays Joe, a slick and stylish looper who is totally confident with the fact that he may soon have to “close his loop.” This entails sending the looper’s future self back in time as a target.  As a result all the loopers eventually end up killing themselves, because the mafia doesn’t want too much knowledge about their illegal actions spread in the future. Inevitably Joe’s future self (Bruce Willis) shows up to be executed but decides he isn’t going to go down without a fight. In the same time period, both Joes grapple with ethical dilemmas that can change the course of history forever.
The new sci-fi thriller Looper delivers in a way that the average time travel movie does not. It weaves a complex story with believable characters and a plot that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
With only three movies under his belt, Writer/Director Rian Johnson has already proven himself to be one of the most fascinating and innovative filmmakers.  His first two films, Brick and The Brothers Bloom set the standards high for Looper which fulfills that promise in every possible way.
Emily Blunt shows up in the second half of the film in an unexpected role as a country bumpkin single mom who ends up peaking young Joe’s romantic and moral interests. The film also stars Jeff Daniels a sleazy mobster and Paul Dano as a less slick looper to Joe’s lean and cool style.
As always Johnson has a definite vision for how he wants to direct his film.  The visual style is breathtaking and the action sequences are well composed and advance the plot.  Johnson’s gripping cinematography shines through in a compilation of innovative camera shots and nail-biting action sequences. Although, the pacing of the film varies, neither half overshadows the other; they both play their parts in the story perfectly and mesh neatly together.
While the film is not short of its beautiful moments, it does contain many melancholy, dark, and gruesome elements. However, the dark moments are used to shed light on the moral dilemmas plaguing younger and older Joe. Issues that inevitably lead the audience to questions such as, “If I was told to kill my future self, would I?”  and “Was is it really for the greater good?”
See it:  If you want to see a smart, well written and directed film.
Don’t see it:  If you don’t want to see any violence or if you are easily emotionally disturbed.

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