HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Annette
Shepherd
Dying to Divorce
Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn
Trouble with Being Born, The
Last Matinee, The
Strings, The
Free Hand for a Tough Cop
People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan
Dear Future Children
Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus
Swallow
Thin Red Line, The
Petite Maman
Fast & Furious 9
Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat
Sweet Thing
Maelstrom
Father, The
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Night House, The
Father of Flies
80,000 Years Old
Dead & Beautiful
Bull
Censor
Sleep
Freaky
Nightbooks
Whisker Away, A
Wild Indian
Whale Island
Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires
Don't Breathe 2
Closing Time
Cryptozoo
Weathering with You
Rim of the World
Love & Basketball
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
   
 
Newest Articles
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
   
 
  Looper Me and Him and Him and Me
Year: 2012
Director: Rian Johnson
Stars: Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, Noah Segan, Piper Perabo, Jeff Daniels, Pierce Gagnon, Summer Qing, Tracie Thomas, Frank Brennan, Garret Dillahunt
Genre: Action, Thriller, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 4 votes)
Review: It is the year 2044. Time travel has not been invented yet. But it will be. Thirty years from now a powerful crime syndicate employ time machines as a means of catapulting enemies back into the past where they are summarily executed by hit men known as Loopers. One such looper is Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Killing for the mob has made him a small fortune which he hopes will bring him a bright future. But every looper has a clause in their contract. At the end of their service for the syndicate, they must execute their own future self. It is called “closing the loop.” When Joe unexpectedly confronts his future self (Bruce Willis), he is overpowered as the old guy goes on the run. Turns out Old Joe has a plan to safeguard his future, which involves tracking down a mysterious little boy (Pierce Gagnon) with a dark secret, living with single mother Sara (Emily Blunt) on a lone homestead.

All time travel movies, no matter how meticulously thought out, require a strong suspension of disbelief. It is a simple fact their plots rely less on whatever pseudo-scientific logic has been concocted than on the faith invested by an audience. Those viewers that sought to pick apart the mechanics of writer-director Rian Johnson’s central conceit had less fun than those willing to run with its outlandish ideas who had their faith repaid ten-fold. Johnson stages a whole host of alternately amusing and unsettling variations on the central temporal paradox, from an amusing diner scene where the two Joes glower at each other over identical breakfast orders, to a horrific sequence where an old fugitive sees his limbs go missing, one by one, as the mob torture his younger self.

However, Johnson wisely packs a whole host of other ideas beyond the core time travel conceit including a third act swerve into Akira (1988) territory and a subplot vaguely reminiscent of “It’s A Good Life”, the famous Jerome Bixby-scripted episode of The Twilight Zone, later remade by Joe Dante in Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983). Indeed, although ostensibly a slam-bang sci-fi actioner, Looper is a surprisingly melancholy, sensitive and agreeably contemplative movie. Rather than go the expected route of having the older, more experienced incarnation of Joe try to steer his younger self towards a happier life, Johnson poses a more provocative question: what would you do to protect the life you had built? How far would you go? These questions hover over both incarnations of Joe, but we also sense them bubbling under the surface in young Cid, the character played by remarkable child actor Pierce Gagnon. This desperation to safeguard lives and loved ones drives the characters towards some dark decisions. Johnson boldly risks losing audience sympathy by having his flawed heroes commit some unforgivable acts, though he stresses that it sickens them to do so. Only towards the finale does one key character attain a vision of how everything fits into the grand scheme of things, the realisation that only a selfless act can puncture an endless loop driven by self-interest.

Following on from Johnson’s earlier, equally idiosyncratic features Brick (2005) and The Brothers Bloom (2008), the writer-director flexes his creative muscles with an array of inspired, near-wordless set-pieces that rank as remarkably eloquent examples of pure cinema. For all its bravura set-pieces though, Looper proves an agreeably character and performance driven film. Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are each outstanding, with the latter doing a far subtler imitation of the action icon than the prosthetic makeup suggests. He is genuinely affecting as the sensitive, more vulnerable incarnation of Joe. Gordon-Levitt’s partnership with Johnson is fast shaping into something special and between this, The Dark Knight Rises and Lincoln, the ever-watchable star enjoyed one heck of a 2012. Equally superb are Emily Blunt and gifted youngster Gagnon, both responding to characters more offbeat with more depth than is common in high-concept sci-fi fare. Bruce Willis fans will relish one priceless sequence that has him revert to Die Hard mode, going all guns blazing against the mob, but Looper’s greatest strengths are those quiet, contemplative moments when it surprises you.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2919 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: