While Looper's a term given to Joseph Gordon Levitt's character, this film belongs to Bruce Willis. Willis, by the way, is also a Looper. With Willis's bald head and slight double chins, he is the center of attention and does not disappoint. His charisma oozes off of the screen and you have to hand it to him at 57, he has not lost his sex appeal. He portrays the older version of Joseph Simon, (Joseph Gordon Levitt) and is mesmerizing. In a futuristic gangland in Shanghai in 2044, a 25-year-old Simon works for an assassination company in Kansas City. Simon tries to close this loop in which the present kills off the future that has been sent back to the past to be disposed of by Loopers. In the beginning of this film I felt I needed and interpreter, but as time passed, I was able to go with it. Norman Mailer would preach to me that chaos is not plot, but writer Rain Johnson never had the privilege of this lecture,
Time travel is the theme of writer/ director Rain Johnson's science fiction tale. Sara (Emily Blunt) appears mid way through the film as the mother of a small child Cid (Pierce Gagnon) who steals the film. No mention of this child is made in previous reviews as he is the missing link in the plot.
Sara (Blunt) takes her moments and is exquisite in this film. The plot is chaotic in the beginning, but once you adjust to the time travel aspect of this story and have pestered your neighbor to explain just what is going on, you will have stellar time popcorn stuffing.
Loopers are trained assassins who are hired by the menacing crime leader Abe (Jeff Daniels) to kill traitors from the future but to do this in present day Kansas. Loopers are rewarded with gold bricks. To prevent his death, Willis had Simon (Levitt) shoot his back which is covered in gold bricks and thus Willis saved his life. Abe (Daniels) pays a visit to the present to sort out why Simon's (Levitt) character has failed to kill his future self, Bruce Willis. Abe (Daniels) in his quiet, avuncular portrayal of a crime boss will leave you with chills.
Filmed partially in Shanghai, the authentic sets add to the reality of this bizarre tale. Joseph Gordon Levitt's make up is disturbing as I was frequently watching his overly made up eyebrows instead of listening to him. He is such a fine actor, why would make up mess with his finely chiseled face? Kudos for his portrait of Joe Simon.
Looper was selected to open the 2012 Toronto Film Festival. Catch it before all the hype gives away its neighbor grabbing ending. And make sure you go with someone who enjoys talking about "what happened in that film?" Looper is riveting.
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