Unusual and Intriguing
If youíre heading out to see Looper, take your love of action, adventure and the unusual along with you -- but leave any concerns about reason or logic at home. Itís 2074 and the world has not improved over time. Mobsters rule; the streets are packed with homeless people living day to day; and youíll most likely get shot if you try to steal someoneís food.
However, Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is doing okay. Heís a hired assassination -- called a Looper -- who stands in a field and waits for a bound and head-wrapped person to suddenly plop in the field out of nowhere. Itís actually some unlucky guy the mob has sent back in time to 2044 to be killed by Joe. Once he fires his Blunderbuss -- a weapon that can only fire short range -- and kills the suspect, a Looper can zip open the back of the dead personís shirt and find their payment of either gold or silver bars.
New to the 2074 era, time travel can only be used by government agents. When Joe travels back home, he hides part of his money in a hole below his floor, pays for the drugs heís addicted to, which are dropped into his eyes, and heads to a night club. There he fantasizes on Suzie (Piper Perabo), a pleaser who doesnít like Loopers but thinks Joe still has a bit of civility about him.
Maybe thatís why fellow Looper Seth (Paul Dano, in a much-too-short role), comes to Joe when he messes up by letting his victim get away. So Looper boss, Abe (Jeff Daniels), orders Sethís Loop closed, and Seth knows his minutes are numbered. Joe tries to help but only gets into trouble with the boss.
From this point the film becomes a sci-fi Goodfellas. Itís best not to try keeping up with who is doing what to whom. Instead, just hang on for the ride! Running for his life, Joe ends up in a corn field, drawn to an address given him to save or kill the ďRainmaker,Ē an evil person in 2074 but in 2044 heís Cid, a charming and astute 5-year-old boy played by Pierce Chagnon, a real charmer.
Gordon-Levitt (made up to resemble Willis) is amazing. Heís come a long way from the TV episodes he made in the late 80s. There isnít a moment in the film that we donít wait for the next step Joe takes. Willis may be losing a few hairs but his acting skills continue to impress and delight. He and Gordon-Levitt make a great team. In the scene where young Joe and old Joe face off at a cafť, thereís more going on between them than lines in the script can indicate.
Director/writer Rian Johnson (The Brotherís Bloom, Brick, Breaking Bad) has created a thoroughly intriguing film for the most part. There are many scenes -- as I hinted at earlier -- that beg to be explained, however the fast pacing and excellent cast continue to draw us into the story.
Looper reminds me a lot of 2010ís Inception. Itís certainly entertaining, and the ultimate message that rises to the top at the end of the film is worth waiting for.
(Released by Sony Pictures and rated ďRĒ for strong violence, language, some sexuality/nudity and drug content.)
Review also posted at www.reviewexpress.com.