Tuesday 25 September 2012

Looper - Review

It's 2042 and the world is a bit shit.  Thirty years further into the future things are still a bit shit (boo), time travel has just been invented (yay) and then swiftly outlawed (boo).  Criminal gangs however are using the technology to illegally send back any threat to their operation to the year 2042 where they are swiftly shot to death.  With a blunderbuss.  Apparently it's a bit hard to get rid of a body in 2072 without it being noticed.  The awaiting assassins are called Loopers.  The victims arrive with a bag over their heads and a stash of silver strapped to their backs which the Loopers then cash for payment.  Eventually they'll discover gold instead of silver, signifying that they've just killed their future selves thus completing the loop and they are then free to enjoy the money they've accumulated for the next thirty years until they're sent back, bag over their head etc etc.  It's a loop.  Clever.

It could have been so awful in the wrong hands but Rian Johnson does a great job of making this way darker and interesting than any trailer made it out to be.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the Looper who fails to kill his future self (Bruce Willis) and from that point on the film does the unexpected.  The time travel element, which lets face it, usually gets horribly messy, works underneath the surface of the movie.  Willis is desperate to protect his memories of a life turned round, Gordon-Levitt just wants to complete the loop to get his employers off his back.  Throw in a pretty farm owner, a brilliant nine year old boy, the best telekinisis since Carrie and Looper gets pretty dense.  Dense, dark and threatening.  There's something gloriously foreboding about most, if not all, of the characters.

Looper is the surprise of the summer, a fully realised, but beautifully stripped back Sci-Fi that doesn't rely on it's effects to peddle its story.  Instead the story does the peddling and it's so much better for it.


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