Sep. 26, 2012 - Issue #884: Strangelove
Criminal gangs of the future send their dirty laundry back to 2044, where a looper, essentially an assassin, will be waiting to greet the hogtied, blindfolded soul with a single shot. A target can never escape, even if it happens to be a looper's future self, sent back to the past to "close the loop" and effectively end a looper's contract.
Once a loop is closed, it leaves the looper 30 years of retirement, and comes with a payout of gold briquettes as opposed to the usual silver, which suave, hipster-styled looper Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), has been stashing away. He's ready for the end of the unfulfiling lifestyle—a monotonous routine of killing, girls, clubs and drugs—and plans to head to Paris when the whole dirty mess is said and done.
However, when the day comes and future Joe (Bruce Willis) is sent back to him, he has his own agenda. He's searching for someone known as The Rainmaker, a mysterious figure who's been closing all the loops in 2074. The cat and mouse chase leads both Joes on a journey with separate motives, and takes a particularly interesting turn when past Joe finds himself on the farm of Sara (Emily Blunt), a tough-as-nails single mom with a strangely gifted, albeit slightly creepy, son Cid (Pierce Gagnon).
The twists and turns of the plot and fast-paced action are punctuated by a deeper underlying storyline of redemption, family ties and the lengths a person will go for unconditional love. The characters tend towards morally ambiguous, and opening up the emotional side of their hardened personas adds dimension and doesn't render Looper as simply a shoot-em-up action film.
Gordon-Levitt, who's face has been altered to further resemble a younger Willis, is particularly strong in his polished, mature portrayal of Joe. His grandeur and apathy plays as a mask for deeper wounds lingering from his past, which builds until the film's gripping conclusion.
Willis as future Joe carries an air of sadness and dejection following the turn of events that land him back in the past. The dialogue between him and his younger self reveals how out of sync their motives are, and that only one of them is going to come out on top.
Directed by: Rian Johnson
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