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posted Oct 5, 2012 - 5:35:31pm
Looper is everything I love about movies. It’s a thought-provoking film that offers a new take on universal themes. Oh, and mind-bending time loops.
Looper was one of the most anticipated films of the year, marking director Rian Johnson's reunion with rising star Joseph Gordon-Levitt, together for the first time since the genre deconstruction Brick. There was a lot of expectation riding on this film even before the trailer was released, but even still, it lives up to the hype.
Gordon-Levitt stands alone in a corn field with a gun. Suddenly, a hooded man appears before him, and without missing a beat, Gordon-Levitt shoots him for a few bars of silver. This is the life Joe leads as a contract killer, a “Looper.” The men that appear before him are sent by the mob from 30 years in the future so he can make them “disappear.” Joe does this day in and day out, until suddenly, Joe finds himself pointing his gun at an older version of himself (Bruce Willis). Of course, Joe always new this day would come, but that doesn’t mean Old Joe is going to go down without a fight.
Popcorn represents how fun a film is to watch—how funny it is, how exciting the special effects are, and how enjoyable the story is on repeated viewings. The perfect popcorn movie would be one that never got stale regardless of how many times you’ve seen it.
Looper is a stylish film that melds the past and future together and blends different genres, essentially creating a story that borrows from noir, sci-fi and western films. There are plenty of hard-nosed characters, themes of redemption, and lots of emphasis on the lighting. The first half of the movie is filled with darkness and cramped spaces from a future society on the edge of dystopia. The second half moves out to the country, giving the audience lots of sunshine and wide shots.
Levitt turns in one of the best Bruce Willis impressions I’ve ever seen, making it easy to believe they are in fact the same person. (The prosthetic nose doesn’t hurt.) Joining the two powerhouse leads are the likes of Paul Dano and Jeff Daniels, the latter of whom plays the leader of the Loopers. Johnson keeps the dialogue tight and fluid, giving the film the feeling that it’s constantly moving, even when two men are just chatting over breakfast.
Looper may make you think, but for all its philosophy, it's just as much fun to watch as it is to think about. It’s action-packed while still providing material that leaves the audience wondering. It should be seen in theaters, and often.
Stars & Popcorn grade: 4 stars, 5 popcorn.
— Born and raised in the sunshine state, Patrick grew up loving movies. He’s currently attending the University of Central Florida and is a Cinema Studies major. Along with being the president of Stars and Popcorn, he’s a player in the independent comics scene.
Sponsored by Liebe Entertainment Group, Marketplace 8. Click here to see showtimes for Looper
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