The sci-fi thriller Looper is our movie of the week.
Set 30 (and 60) years in the future, Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as a mobster assassin who takes out targets sent from the future. When his next target turns out to be an older version of himself (portayed by Bruce Willis) things go bad. Willis escapes the trap and then goes on a self-serving mission to kill an evildoer from his time. Rian Johnson directs.
Ryan: Time traveling movies are almost always paradoxical and problematic. That’s not to say that they aren’t enjoyable, though. I bring this up because Looper comes at this issue from a different angle. Looper basically admits in its own narrative that trying to wrap your head around the intricacies of time travel will do nothing but make your brain hurt. Not worrying about the issues of time travel is not only not important to the characters in the film but also not important to the audience as well. Some moviegoers might not like this qualified position, but I do think it goes a long way in helping viewers appreciate the film. There’s really nothing in Looper that is original, but it has a look and feel that seems fresh and in this case that’s good enough to make Looper a qualified success of a sci-fi flick.
Andy: As Ryan said, time travel movies tend to paint themselves into corners. In spite of its best efforts to keep you from thinking about it, it’s hard not to see the narrative (and logical) problems that arise when a character is interacting with a future version of himself. Looper has enough action and charisma to get around those problems, but they are still there. The question for the viewer becomes, do you want to think about how real these possibilities are, or do you want to sit back and enjoy the movie? If you are willing to sit back and go for a ride, Looper is pretty entertaining.
Ryan: As I stated above, Looper starts to have issues when one really starts to peel away the time travel elements of the film.
But that doesn’t prevent me from enjoying the movie. Looper is a fine sci-fi film, and what really drives that point home is the notion of a younger self meeting his older self. That’s an interesting idea that normally doesn’t get played out to this degree in many other science fiction movies. But seeing Gordon-Levitt and Willis embody the same character at different points in the character’s life is quite engaging (especially in the scenes they share).
Andy: Stylistically, Looper makes some interesting choices. In spite of being set at least 30 and sometimes 60 years in the future, it does not go out of its way to show off how futuristic the world has become. Even with time travel and telekinesis existing in the future, things look and feel more or less the same as they do now. If anything, the general population comes across as more desolate and downtrodden, but in a very realistic way. This ends up being an effective device that makes Looper feel more like social commentary than the plot is indicating.
Ryan: Gordon-Levitt has already proven to me that he’s one of the most promising young actors in Hollywood and Willis continues a nice alternate career path with futuristic sci-fi movies (12 Monkeys and The Fifth Element). But the real breakthrough performance in this movie is the young actor (Pierce Gagnon) who plays Cid (who may or may not grow up to become the evil persona knows as Rainmaker). For only playing a 10-year-old, Gagnon plays his character with a feverish dark side that almost makes Looper more of a horror-suspense movie at the end than a straight up sci-fi flick. It’s a pretty remarkable performance for a child.
Looper is an adequate thriller with entertainment value that outweighs its flaws. Final grade: B.
The sci-fi thriller Looper is our movie of the week.
- Review: Supersurvivors by David B. Feldman, PhD & Lee Daniel Kravetz You’re not sure if you’ll ever recover.The loss of job or a business. The loss of a lifelong dream. The loss of your health or the life of someone you love. Without a doubt, you’ll never be the same. It’s the worst thing that could ever happen to you
- New arrivals at library Translation to XTAGS failed
Movie preview: “Hercules”
Plot: Having endured his legendary twelve labors, Hercules, the Greek demigod, has his life as a sword-for-hire tested when the King of Thrace and his daughter seek his aid in defeating a tyrannical warlord.
Movie preview: “Lucy”
Plot: Writer/director Luc Besson helms this action-thriller that tracks a woman who falls prey to sinister underworld forces, but gains superhuman abilities that allow her to strike back at her oppressors.
- Latest 'Apes' flick is monkey as metaphor FROM THE DEN AT WOLF THEATRES — At its core, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” is a fable about the human condition that evinces thoughtful, subtle influences from a slightly unexpected source: George Orwell’s 1945 novel “Animal Farm.”Of course, with
- Begin Again is nice counter to endless summer blockbusters With Andy still on sabbatical, I’ll be taking a solo look this week at an anti-blockbuster-type of movie. Begin Again (R) stars Mark Ruffalo as a down-and-out New York music executive who stumbles into a bar and coincidentally hears an ingénue singer
- Colts are hosting their free Back to Football Kickoff Concert The Colts will host their Kickoff Concert Presented by Verizon on Friday, September 5, in Downtown Indianapolis. The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature Grammy Award winning artist Blues Traveler, performers of the smash hits “R
Movie preview: “Sex Tape”
Plot: Though they’re still very much in love, ten years and two kids have cooled the passion for Jay and Annie. To spice up their relationship, they decide to make a home video of themselves.
Movie preview: “Planes: Fire and Rescue”
Plot: When world-famous air racer Dusty learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he must shift gears and is launched into the world of aerial firefighting.
Movie preview: “The Purge: Anarchy”
Plot: A defenseless young couple find themselves stranded in the city on the one night of the year that all crime, including murder, is legal, in this self-contained sequel to the 2013 sleeper hit.
- More Entertainment Headlines