The trailer for 'Looper' was mighty awesome and I was so hyped to see it when it came out but was unable to, so three weeks after release, my friends and I went to see the movie which has been nicknamed 'this decade's Matrix'.
It's 2044. Time travel hasn't been invented yet. But 30 years from now it will have been. When criminal organizations need someone gone, they zap them back to the past and highly skilled assassins called 'loopers' take them out- a clean and trace-free kill.
Joe (Joseph Gordon Levitt), the youngest looper ever recruited, has dreamed of going to France. But when his fellow looper friend Seth comes to him for help after he let his loop (future self) escape, and tells him that all loops are going to be closed, Joe is still hopeful of his dream, until he too is sent his loop.
Future Joe (Bruce Willis) knocks Young Joe out and escapes. Desperate to amend the situation, Young Joe chases Future Joe down. Future Joe tells Young Joe that his future wife was brutally killed and that in order to save her, he must take down the 'Rainmaker', who is still just a young boy in the present, but is the person who initiated the closing of all loops in the future.
Questioning whether Old Joe's future will be his own future and determined to shape his own path, Young Joe is adamant killing his future self is the solution, but when he stays at Sara (Emily Blunt)'s farm where the potential 'Rainmaker' is living and waits for Old Joe, how will his motives change?
I walked into the movie thinking this would be a great blockbuster popcorn thriller (as suggested by the trailer) with a deeper infusion of time-space sci fi themes, which the film was, for the first half hour to an hour... and then it turned into something completely different.
The beautiful cinematography at the beginning was slick, high adrenaline and fueled with artistry, portraying a pumping atmosphere in the year 2044, one of sex, drugs and money. This high life lived by Joe soon spirals out of control when he is sent his loop to kill, and lets him escape.
Another striking and iconic moment early on in 'Looper' is the scenes showing how Old Joe lived his 30 years and then cut back into the present in a 'Back to the Future'-esque manner, saving his present self.
However, the focus withdrew from the the two chasing each other onto another agenda- the 'Rainmaker'. Young Joe camping out at one of Old Joe's targets slowed the pace right down and the movie soon entered emotional/drama territory when feelings of family, upbringing and melodrama all poured out.
Interspersed with action scenes by Old Joe and a few tense scenes as Sara's farm is investigated lifted these slow moments, but nonetheless feels like a different movie altogether.
As the film reached a climax, the sci-fi element returned (in 2044, some people have mutated the ability of telekinesis) in a horrific way and I thought what happens was slightly over the top in a very sinister and scary way- I thought I was in some sort of horror movie!
The ending was kind of expected but still shocking and I am still unsure how to read the movie. There were parts of sheer brilliance and parts with true emotion and heart, but overall, it did feel slightly messy. The slow-pace of Sara's farm didn't match the high octane thriller of the opening sequence and the idea of time-space parallels etc wasn't explored deeply enough.
However, the themes of fate, cycles and time gave the movie more depth and leave you with many questions to ponder about.
Joseph Gordon Levitt- Young Joe
Bruce Willis- Old Joe
Emily Blunt- Sara
Also stars Piper Perabo and Jeff Daniels.
Heavily made up Gordon Levitt (to look more like Willis) was convincing and proves his talent as a rising star in this versatile role. Willis, guns in hand, provided the man power and the humour. Blunt was likeable.
The trailer of 'Looper' is magnificent and slick, but doesn't reflect the true nature of the whole movie. Whilst the cinematography was gripping, the film struggles to find solid footing in the genres of thriller, drama and sci-fi. The meandering pace was off-putting but the themes explored raises enough questions to keep you on the edge of your seat.