What movie was that...?

04 October 2012

Looper

directed by Rian Johnson

For me, the possibility of Rian Johnson’s long rumored, much hyped (and long overdue, btw) sci-fi gangster film Looper being good or bad wasn’t really a debatable point. I knew in my heart’s soul that it was going to be good- nay, great- but how great? Luckily for me, after little brother DC and I finally got to scope this gem out last night, I have an answer to that question. Not only is Looper one of the most fun times I’ve had at the movies this year, it was also one of the finest time travel films ever- almost as good as Primer (and I read about the yeti-esque Shane Carruth sightings abounding the set of Looper, Mr R). Rian Johnson manages to mix his reliably confident film noir sensibility (dialogue, framing, pacing) with stylish, blood pumping action that rivals any of those classics to which we commonly refer as counterpoints contrasting inferior works. Set in a grimy midwestern 2044, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is one a group of low level hit men well payed to whack scumbags from the future. Posted up in a Kansas cornfield, JGL takes out his future-mafia orders with cold precision, until his future self (a solid BruceWillis) pops up and gets the jump on him. As JGL tracks his future self, he finds himself entangled in a web of causality, parallel futures, and tense existentialism that never seems forced or trite. Johnson’s script gives you just enough to wet your whistle without boring you, Primer style, but mulls over big ideas just long to set your brain reeling well after you leave the theater. The entire cast is phenomenal, particularly a spectacular JGL firing on all cylinders and a bruisingly wonderful Emily Blunt (I love you, Ms B), but hats off Jeff Daniels as a future-Mafioso exiled to manage the past, a stellar Noah Segan as the screwup desperate to prove himself, and the always tremendous Garret Dillahunt as a menacing and matter of fact gatman. And let's not forget the dynamite performance turned in by miniature Molotov cocktail Pierce Gagnon, who shows plenty of accomplished actors how it's done. Looper pulls you to the edge of your seat from Jump Street and will have your head spinning by the end. And by the way, what are the odds that 2 of the best time travel movies around star Bruce Willis (this and, of course, 12 Monkeys)? Crazy...

As an aside: Noah Segan’s Kid Blue character has one of the best names in film, and it's is actually the number 1 and 2 names on my list of possible names for our kids (my wife has staunchly vetoed them both), Kid for a boy, and Blue for a girl. 

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