I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked Looper. It was much more than your run-of-the-mill sci-fi film. It was incredibly violent yet somehow poignant at the same time.


Starring: Joseph Gordon Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Jeff Daniels, Paul Dano, Piper Perabo, Pierce Gagnon

Premise: Time Travel will be invented in 2074, but will immediately be banned and used only by high level criminals. As a way of getting away with murder, the criminals send their “victims” to the past, 2044, where 20 something Joe works as a “Looper,” getting rid of the bodies and getting paid in silver in return. Think murder-for-hire. Joe’s life is mundane, killing by day, drugs and partying by night. He has no loyalties, not to his stripper girlfriend (a skinny Piper Perabo) or best friend (an always fabulous Paul Dano) who’s also a Looper. One day, someone in the future decides to “close his loop” meaning, sending his future self to the past to be killed by himself (Is your head spinning yet?). Only instead of showing up with a bag over his head like usual, Joe is confronted with his own future face. His Future Self escapes and Present Joe must go on a man-hunt for Future Joe. Meanwhile Future Joe hunts for the past version of the person responsible for his wife’s death in 2074. Got it? Good.

My Review: The movie starts out as your typical sci-fi futuristic movie. Set in the ghettos, Joe is a partier not really caring about his life or anyone else. We can see he’s on a downward spiral, and the way he operates his kills is downright cold-blooded. And the decisions he makes make him frankly unlikeable. I don’t want to not like Joseph Gordon Levitt, but everything about Joe was…unsettling. However, once Joe meets future Joe, everything changes. Future Joe was possibly even more violent than Present Joe but there was something behind those eyes. A fire. An electricity. A passion. He was killing for a purpose, not just to get by. He was a real man (as only Bruce Willis could be). Everything about the movie had changed. For the better.

The trailer leaves a major part of the movie out. As do all the ads and reviews, so it would be wrong to ruin it for you now. But the second half of the movie was quite incredible with really powerful performances. Future Joe and Present Joe went on two different journeys and somehow they were neither bad nor good, you rooted for both even though Future Joe’s job was to kill someone from the past and Present Joe’s job was to kill future Joe. It was quite intricate and complicated, but again, it worked. It’s hard to explain, but it’s easy to understand.

All the performances in this movie pretty great: Jeff Daniels was intimidating, Bruce Willis was surprisingly sweet yet also violent, Paul Dano was unstable and eccentric, and especially Joseph Gordon Levitt (who was cold but also had this journey of experiencing other emotions) and Emily Blunt (who was devastatingly strong). Despite this star power, there was one performance that stood out above the rest. This actor’s performance was so incredible I will probably be haunted by their face and their work for a long time. It was creepy and vulnerable, sweet and startling. To tell you who this actor is, would ruin the plot, but the minute you see this movie, you’ll know who I’m talking about.

Don’t judge this movie based on the trailer. See for yourself what it’s like. At the end of the movie, I’ll admit it turns into a Quentin Tarantino movie, but the violence doesn’t overshadow what’s at the core of this movie. And really, what more can director/writer Rian Johnson ask for? This movie surprised me, so go watch it and let it surprise you.


Rating: 3 ½ out of 5
(maybe 4 stars, I can’t decide).





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