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Looper (2012)

Directed by Rian Johnson

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt

Rian Johnson isn’t exactly a household name when it comes to movies. That might change thanks to the great writing and directing he did in this 2012 film. Looper is the first major film from Johnson, who has worked on projects like Breaking Bad and Brick. This movie brought him back together with Joseph Gordon-Levitt (50/50) who had starred in Brick which Johnson wrote and directed.¬†Looper also stars Bruce Willis (Die Hard), Emily Blunt (The Adjustment Bureau), and newcomer Pierce Gagnon.

When time travel is invented it is immediately outlawed. Now the mob of 2047 uses it to get rid of people. Any time they need someone killed they send them back 30 years and let the loopers do it for them. Joe (Gordon-Levitt) is one of those loopers, taking the assignments and the money for as long as the mob needs him. When the mob tries to close his loop, Joe finds himself face to face with an older version of himself (Willis). Now he’s faced with the challenge of killing his future self which is complicated when he finds out that there’s more to the future than he realizes. This task is complicated by the mob killers who are looking for both young and old Joe.

This movie is a great example of the perfect trailers. Throughout the media buildup of this film I think I had a pretty good idea of what this movie was about. I was so wrong, so very wrong. This movie was a powerful and pleasant surprise, with a deeper plot and better story than the trailer ever hinted at. I was planning to see Looper just because of what I thought it was, it ended up being so much more. The writing has to be given a huge amount of the credit for the success of this film. This movie could have easily become predictable and overdone, but Johnson does a great job keeping the story flowing and building the intensity throughout.

The acting in this movie is also great. I need to take a moment to give credit to the young and unknown Pierce Gagnon. His work in this movie might be the best child acting I’ve ever seen. He’s only has a limited amount of experience, but he made this movie memorable. He’s joined by some great talents, Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Emily Blunt.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt had the tough task of becoming a younger version of Bruce Willis. He does so with great success. There are so many mannerisms that he picked up on that make his character work opposite Willis. Bruce Willis is also great, playing a role that is dark and emotional. He also gets to put in some work on the action side of the spectrum, something I think most people expect from him. Finally, Emily Blunt does a great job with her role. She has to work on a broad range of emotions and she does a wonderful job.

There are a number of other stars that do a great job in this movie. Paul Dano, Jeff Daniels, and Noah Segan are just a few of the people who put together good performances for this intense thriller.

If you can’t tell, I really liked this movie. I would even say that it might be the best movie I’ve seen in 2012. The acting is great and the visuals are equally impressive. As with Inception I think that the special effects really help to create a new world for the story to take place in. It should also be said that the makeup artists who made Gordon-Levitt into the younger Bruce Willis should be given awards for their great work.

In examining this movie, I also spent some time looking for plot holes. I thought that I might use them to find fault with this film, so far I’ve found none. I think this is a well-written story that plays out nicely on the screen.

If you’re a fan of action, adventure, science-fiction, or suspense films there is something in Looper for you. I don’t think this is for the kids, with moments of violence that get pretty intense. This is a movie that keeps the suspense going and kept me guessing throughout. I give this one 5 out of 5 stars.

Rating: R

Running Time: 119 minutes


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