Thursday, 8 November 2012

Going Around In Loops

A bit slow on this one, and for that I can only apologise. A film hailed as a modern masterpiece with five star reviews from almost everyone, but is it all it is cracked up to be? A film that, from the simplest description, sounds like the coolest thing around. Just look at the key aspects: time travel, assassins, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, telekinesis. Everything seems to scream 'cool.' But it is? this is Looper.

In the year 2074, it is extremely difficult to dispose of a body. Because of this, criminal organisations use an advantage they have in the future, time travel, to zap anyone they need to get rid of back 30 years to be killed by a special type of assassin known as a Looper. One of these Loopers is a man called Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), the youngest Looper that the Boss, Abe (Jeff Daniels), ever hired. But every loop has to be closed. This means that eventually,  a Looper has to assassinate the future version of themselves. When this happens to Joe, he hesitates, leaving his future self to run. Old Joe (Bruce Willis), fixated on the idea of changing his own past and future ('Oh no I've gone cross-eyed') tries to find the man known in future as the 'Rainmaker'; a man who closes loops for no reasons. A man who is only a child in 2044. Trying to fix his error by terminating his future self, Young Joe stumbles across Sara (Emily Blunt) and her son Cid (Pierce Gagnon) who he bonds with but nothing is safe.

Now Joe, what would Freud say?

If Joseph Gordon-Levitt's name hadn't been splashed all over the posters and promos for this film, it would be hard to tell that it was him. With plenty of face make up (we'll get back to that) he was not playing his own character. He had a far more difficult challenge: to play Bruce Willis' character but young. The good news is he does this perfectly. For the most part of the film, it is like watching a young Bruce Willis as Gordon-Levitt completely nails Willis' facial expressions and way of talking, which is not an easy task. Emily Blunt was excellent as Sara, the most touching character in the film and the character who really provided the film with heart. Her performance showed the deep pain that an under-appreciated mother feels as well as the outer strength a single mother has to portray, even when scared or weak. Incredible child acting from Pierce Gognon as Cid, a clearly troubled child but a very smart one. And, of course, Bruce Willis is constantly awesome. He's really understanding that he is not the young action star that he once was but he knows that doesn't mean he is no longer a badass. His roles and the way he performs them are more reflective of his age and because of this, they're a lot better than his other recent films (See Surrogates.)

In the future, most people have the force too.

The make up artist on this film deserves a medal. That's the first technical aspect that needs to be mentioned. Alongside Gordon-Levitt's brilliant acting is the make up that made him look ridiculously like a young Bruce Willis. For that, we should all applaud. Next, the cinematography was subtly outstanding. It captured the world of the future without needing to explicitly point it out at any point. Sure there was no incredible and revolutionary camera work (see The Tree of Life) but it is that implicitness that made the futuristic world more absorbing. What helped with this was the fresh and original writing. While time assassins are nothing new, the idea of the actual assassin not being the time traveller is a whole new perspective on the concept. Admittedly, there are paradoxes galore - focus on them too much and you'll get a good ol' headache - but overall, the writing was incredible. Rian Johnson, who also directed, has done a smashing job.

A fresh and original film, something that we long for in this world of remakes and adaptations. A must see. the sort of film that could become you're new favourite. Unlike a lot of modern science fiction, Looper strives to appeal to action fans, sci-fi fans, and essentially everyone. A really well written, developed, and produced film. And hey, it has funny bits too!

Best Bit? The ending was simply incredible. The last half an hour was moved the movie from extremely good to a modern marvel. Simply fantastic.

No comments:

Post a Comment