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Friday, February 22, 2013
Review by Toby Lattimore
Looper is about an assassin called Joe, who has signed up to a fixed term contract. He blasts anybody sent back through time, at a given location, and then disposes of the body. The problem is one of these faceless bodies will one day be him, or in other words his older 65-year-old self. It’s a bizarre type of suicide and an interesting idea.
Looper had some intriguing press coverage before its release. This was centred on the actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt who plays the young Joe, the lead character, but more importantly the younger version of Bruce Willis. He had apparently spent time with Willis perfecting his facial expressions and with the aid of a few prosthetic adjustments, pulled off a very convincing younger version. Perhaps the best aspect of the impersonation is his knack of pausing when Willis would pause and then that small, slightly angled, smile for effect.
The film moves on at a pace and although Paul Dano and Jeff Daniels put in good performances Looper is really about three people; the two lead actors and the feisty Emily Blunt as Sara and mother to the mutant child Cid. Blunt plays out her desperation well and Willis is suitably unsympathetic.
The old and young Joe tussle with what they want from the future, one having lived it, the other hoping to change it. Sometimes they are on the same side and then a decision has to be made about which future will become a reality and we are kept guessing up until the end as to who and what might be the outcome. With any time travel film you have a feeling that anything could happen but Looper does well to not overly complicate matters and the ending appears at first glance a satisfactory one if unexpected. Just don’t spend too long analysing the ins and outs of the plot. Looper does slot nicely into the sci-fi time travel genre and presents a dark and yet interesting concept.
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