Posted on 2/18/13 06:09 PM
Ironically, a movie that ran out of time...
There is no doubt that "Looper" is an A+ effort. It is a solid, ambitious, science fiction film that takes a lot of risks and has style for days. However, it falls into a lot of the same traps that all movies about time travel do. Additionally, it is one of those movies that opens you up to a big new world in its first hour, only to have its climax take place in one of the most mundane movie locals imaginable. (i.e. "The Fifth Element" and "Back to the Future Parts II and III")
The un-hate-able Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Joe, a junkie hit-man for hire who kills men (and maybe women though its never mentioned) sent back in time by an organized crime syndicate operating thirty plus years in the future. Joe knows that one day he will die by his own hand because Loopers (for some reason briefly explained) are supposed to kill themselves thus closing out their loop of (or in) time. Joe will be sent back in time to be killed by his younger self after he becomes a rich old man. As film's trailer shows, something goes wrong within the system and Joe finds himself face to face with an older version of himself, played by Bruce Willis. Young Joe hesitates to shoot himself and Old Joe escapes for reasons which I won't spoil in my review.
I'm not sure whether Willis or Gordon-Levitt was cast first for the film, but the casting director(s) failed to find a suitable look-alike for either star. Gordon-Levitt's make-up is as distracting as it is terrible, while Willis' performance is dry and lacks any of Gordon-Levitt's energy. You get used to the fact that their supposed to be the same person, but I couldn't help thinking that this is where the movie failed best.
Young Joe is pressured by his bosses to quickly find and kill Old Joe. Old Joe is hell-bent on staying alive long enough to prevent Young Joe from going down the same path he took as Young Joe. Old Joe is after a target that will have big implications on both of their futures.
However, when the movie dives headfirst into its climatic plot elements, the movie's flaws appear at an alarming rate. Making a time travel movie flawless has proven to be an impossible feat, but it's a shame that a movie this ambitious doesn't even try to tackle the questions the audience wants answered. "Looper" fails to get into any of the meaty parts of its brave new world, and we are left stranded on a farm as an end result.