Past meets present in sci-fi film ‘Looper’
by Davia L. Mosley
dmosley@mdjonline.com
September 28, 2012 12:00 AM | 1393 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, foreground, and Paul Dano portray assassins Joe and Seth, respectively, in ‘Looper.’ The film opens today nationwide. <br>The Associated Press
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, foreground, and Paul Dano portray assassins Joe and Seth, respectively, in ‘Looper.’ The film opens today nationwide.
The Associated Press
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“Looper”

(Sci-fi thriller, R, 118 minutes)

As much as I try to like science-fiction based movies, I just can’t. From last year’s “John Carter” to this year’s “Dredd 3D,” I find myself struggling to keep my eyes open. Give me the mafia, give me comedy, give me horror — no aliens, please.

Well, I take that back, just a little. “Prometheus” and “Super 8” were two films that I really enjoyed. They were also jam-packed with noteable people in front of and behind the camera, such as Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott and Charlize Theron. I guess my sci-fi preferences are high maintenance.

So, fast-forward to “Looper,” a flick starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis. The former has been in a string of memorable movies such as “50/50” and “The Dark Knight Rises” and the latter cemented his action-star status in the “Die Hard” installments, as well as in “Red” and “The Expendables.”

In “Looper,” they portray the same character, Joe, only with a 30-year age difference. Gordon-Levitt is Joe in 2044. Willis is Joe in 2074.

In the future, time travel is illegal, relegated to the black market. When the mafia wants to kill someone, the target is sent 30 years in the past where loopers carry out the order. The work is gruesome, but the wealth the loopers accrue makes up for it.

Closing the loop is where things get complicated. The loopers get a sort of severance pay and are freed of their obligations. For the next 30 years, they live as they wish — unless they get sent back to get assassinated. Sometimes the loopers are face to face with their future selves, leaving them with a crucial decision to make.

Joe’s friend, Seth (Paul Dano), finds himself in this predicament. When this happens, the loopers only have one choice. Death is inevitable and will happen either in a twisted suicide or at the hands of an angry mob boss, Abe (Jeff Bridges).

Seth’s bad luck is carried over to Joe when he is faced with his future self and a shotgun in hand. Young Joe is stunned at the realization of what this all means. Old Joe uses this stall to his advantage and manages to escape. However, the two men learn of a secret that can change the course of action. From here, it is a race of life and death where the past meets the present and only one man can be left standing — or so they think.

Seeing Gordon-Levitt’s physical transformation into a younger Willis was more distracting than it was impressive. Green contacts, along with some makeup, is obviously involved. He picks up Willis’ smirk and other nuances, which made me say, “Oh, now I can see it!”

However, I preferred the real thing. Willis shooting an automatic weapon never gets old.

Overall, part of me wanted to back in time and change my decision to watch this movie. The beginning and end are intense, but the wait to piece everything together was agonizing. However, everything will make sense, especially the appearance of the characters Sara (Emily Blunt) and her son, Cid (Pierce Gagnon). Sara is mysterious, and Cid is perhaps the cutest kid I’ve ever seen on screen. So you know something’s up.

There are even more characters that I felt weren’t crucial to the plot. If anything, they made the movie drag on longer than it should have. There will be some predictable parts to the plot while others will come as a surprise.

This movie will be a toss-up. Even thought it had some elements that I enjoy from other genres, there was a lot of it that I did not. If you are looking for something different, then I think “Looper” will be for you.

I’ll stick to what I know best, and I’m in a mafia type of mood. “The Godfather” anyone?

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