Looper (2012) [Cinema].
TL;DR- The Mob in 2074 send people who they need to get rid of 30 years into the past. Then in 2044 a hitman greets them with a gun to collect the gold bars strapped to the victim for payment. When the mob decides to close the loop, that is transport the hitman back to be killed by his former self, the lucrative job ends for the looper, but with the knowledge that in 30 years they will be sent back in time to be offed…
By far the best picture I’ve seen at the cinema so far this year.
Looper put me in the frame of mind to watch Blade Runner (1982) and re-read All you Zombies by Robert Heinlein (a dark short story from 1959 that I highly recommend everyone to read, even if you’re not into sci-fi). The film itself was darker than I expected, and for a film of this nature that cynics could easily try and pry apart; the narrative for me is solid enough for such a popcorn accompaniment. Rian Johnson has covered his Loop so to speak. Heh.
The golden age of futuristic, sci fi fancies in cinema is long gone. 2015 is nearly upon us with no hover boards in sight as promised by Back to the Future Part II (1989). And that is one of the less outlandish predictions made by science fiction films throughout the years.
Looper has resonated with audiences I think, because the setting is not as outlandish as many futuristic films often intend. Instead, Johnson has created a very believable
projection of 2042, in and around a smallish city in Kansas. Possibly a small nod to the Wizard of Oz? There is also a fantastic reference to Alice in Wonderland in the white rabbit that features briefly (see if you can spot it!), and the pocket watches that the Loopers carry. As believable as the futurism of the film is, it does a service to the narrative and in one instance, outlandish action (Well, it is Bruce Willis!), by anchoring the fantastic in the slightly mundane. (I particularly enjoyed the retro-fitted cars, strewn with solar panels.) The diner, the club that the Loopers frequent, nod towards a definite neo-noir vibe. (Or I guess future-noir in this instance?) A highly stylised mode that Rian Johnson is no stranger to following his introductory writer/director offering: Brick (2005). (Coincidently, I believe this was the best film I saw at the cinema in 2006), and a mode that is used masterfully in Looper.
This is one of those films that I wouldn’t want to spoil for anyone, just be sure you’re in for a treat. Aside from Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis leading the film, (the latter feeling more of a supportive role other than in name…), Jeff Daniels is fantastic. The other stand out performance for me was Noah Segan, (The Gat Kid), who reprises the convincing fuck up as he played in Brick. The cinema edit is just short of 2 hours, and flows well. For a time travelling, cross time storyline, as I said – it remains solid throughout.
Thoroughly an enjoyable watch, the only disconcerting moments, were those when Joseph Gordon Levitt’s Willis mannerisms were used in a manipulative manner, as if you assure you that, yes if you were trying to guess the ending – Bruce Willis really is him, so guess again.
That and the fact that in certain sequences there is a terrible resemblance that I’m sure was not intended.