“Looper,” written and directed by Rian Johnson, follows the story of a man who is forced to kill the future version of himself in an action-packed time-travelling adventure.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis both play the protagonist Joe, but at two different ages. The movie, released Sept. 28, starts in the year 2042, 30 years before time travel is invented. Gordon-Levitt plays young Joe, who is forced to kill his future self (Willis) due to the twisted demands of a dystopian society.
Johnson creates a dark future with creepy cinematography and a compelling plot. Some time travel movies are over the top with scientific details and lack a strong plot, but “Looper” is a complete movie with scientific aspects that don’t detract from the focus of the film. Instead, it is a dramatic story of rehabilitation and the contrast between maturity and age in a material world plagued by corruption.
Gordon-Levitt shows his versatility in his role as a young and naïve drug-addict who accurately looks like a young Willis, thanks to a prosthetic nose and makeup. Gordon-Levitt excellently portrays the inner struggle of young Joe who makes many decisions that ultimately hurt his future self. He successfully convinces the audience that his character, Joe, is cast out of his comfortable life into confusion, but ultimately grows from the experience.
Willis’ character, future Joe, is jaded and bent on revenge. He resembles vintage Willis as he goes on a “Die Hard”-like rampage. This character isn’t a large stretch from his other roles. Although playing Joe is not a stretch for his acting, Willis effectively shows the maturity of a regretful old man as he tries to change his past.
In addition to good acting, the directing and cinematography complement the plot. Limited views of the changed cityscape allow the focus to stay on the characters and story rather than the advances in technology.
Strong acting and a dark plot make for 119 minutes of nail-biting suspense. With the suspense and violence, the film ultimately comes off as an action-thriller instead of a science fiction film. This movie is sure to please those that love action-filled movies but will also be a pleasant surprise for those who enjoy a rich, adventurous storyline.