Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Pierce Gagnon
Running Time: 114 minutes
Extras: Featurettes: “Looper: From the Beginning” , “Scoring Looper”, 4 deleted scenes with commentary by Rian Johnson and Noah Segan, Looper animated trailer, Featurettes: “The Science of Time Travel”, “The Two Joes”, “New Future, Old School” (Exclusive to Blu-ray), 17 Additional deleted scenes with commentary by Rian Johnson and Noah Segan (Exclusive to Blu-ray)
Man of the moment Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Bruce Willis in Rian Johnson’s third feature film. As Joe, Gordon-Levitt plays a LOOPER, someone who kills for a mob that send their targets 30-years from the future. Faced with killing his future self Joe hesitates and Old Joe (Willis) begins a quest to kill the person who in 30 years time will kill his wife.
Excellence in structure is difficult when time travel is involved and it is to Rian Johnson’s great credit that LOOPER’s narrative works so effectively. There is an unnecessary antagonist on Joe’s tail for the second half of the film but this is a meagre criticism, LOOPER is tremendous entertainment and whilst not quite as clever as it thinks, it’s a step ahead of most sci-fi.
Tonally LOOPER can be cut directly down the middle: the first half’s suburban setting – full of colour, violence and Paul Dano losing his shit – gives way to a second that focuses on Joe (Gordon-Levitt) as he runs from the authorities, and settles with Sara (Blunt) and Cid (Gagnon) on a cornfield. Old Joe’s (Willis) search for his wife’s future killer keeps the action moving, but with a 30-year time gap expect a few kids to suffer pre-event retribution.
LOOPER’s one major problem is its predictability, it ends how almost all time-travel movies end but there is still huge enjoyment on the way. Rian Johnson could easily have turned this into a special effects blur but has chosen to root his future in reality; houses are the same save a few technological advances and the cars are predominantly the same crap people drive now but with solar panels. This loyalty to the present makes LOOPER more accessible in the same way BLADE RUNNER did, and films like TOTAL RECALL (2012) don’t.
LOOPER is a human story; it has love and family at its core. The surprise when watching is that these things are never far from the surface, even when Paul Dano’s losing his shit. For this LOOPER deserves to be near the top of 2012’s class and definitely warrants a second, more satisfying view on Blu-ray/DVD.
Extras: Pretty standard making of which is repeated in parts on the other featurettes. A solid package that could have been much more.