Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt
Directed by Rian Johnson (Brick)
Rated R for strong violence, language, some sexuality/nudity and drug content
In the year 2072, time travel is possible but highly illegal. When the mob wants to get rid of someone, they send them back in time 30 years where one of a wild group of wannabe gangsters is waiting with a gun and a plastic liner to take out the garbage. Joe (Gordon-Levitt) is one of these so-called loopers who periodically waits in the country, armed with his stopwatch and blunderbuss, for one of these victims to be sent back so he can kill them and collect the ransom for their body. But when the person sent back in time is his future self (Willis), young Joe is thrown off guard and accidentally allows old Joe to escape. Knowing that its either kill old Joe, or he himself will be killed, he goes on a mission to save his present life from his future.
If that description sounds convoluted and complicated then just wait. That is just scratching the surface. This is one absolutely crazy sci-fi film that is almost as much fun to figure out as it is to watch. The story is highly original and the whole production is so well put together that it is hard to imagine any sci-fi fan that wouldn’t enjoy thoroughly.
That being said, while the film is easily classified as sci-fi, it has a low-budget, almost indie feel to it that makes it come across in a more organic fashion than your average sci-fi pic. The problem is that at times this low-budget nature is distracting like when the main child in the film is wearing the same pajamas that we bought for our two-year-old at Costco. Or the sword in the room is the same foam sword we bought at target. Any time the production team is sent to the local store to buy clothes and props for a film that takes place decades in the future, then you know that there are monetary constraints involved. But still, the story overcomes any of the little distractions that might pop up.
But even a great story like this can’t cover up Gordon-Levitt’s nose, which they tried desperately to give a Bruce Willis look. The problem is that it just doesn’t appear right and you end up staring at his nose wondering what they were thinking. My question is, couldn’t they think up a plot device like maybe Old Joe got a nose job in the future in order to avoid detection? Why did they have to give us a familiar actor who has a distracting facial issue.
While Gordon-Levitt’s nose is distracting, his acting is terrific as are the performances from rest of the cast. And for the most part, I was able to get past the minor things and just sit back and enjoy this creative and entertaining tale by a visionary writer and director. B+