Review by Maria A. Cortes
Grab a couple of Hollywood stars, mix them up with some hardened youngsters, add special effects, boil it with blazing action, spice up with some beauties au naturel, put it in a futuristic world, wrap it up with deep thoughts, let it all “cook” to some incredible tunes – and you’ll get that fantastic “combo” from director Rian Johnson called Looper.
Find a safe place so nobody would hear the shots of your blunderbuss. Kill a man who appears in front of you at the very second you were told he would. Get your silver. Party. Kill. That is what loopers do. Specialized assassins, they eliminate unwanted people sent from the future by crime organizations. Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), one of the loopers, doesn’t really like his job. He is hoping to quit one day and go to France. But first he needs to “close his loop” – to kill the old Joe (Bruce Willis) sent back from the future. When that chance appears, Joe hesitates to pull the trigger. His “loop” runs away. Immediately, mob boss Abe (Jeff Daniels) gives orders to hunt both Joes down. Searching for his older self, Joe meets Sara (Emily Blunt) and gets sucked into a whirlpool of unexpected events.
A good movie can be recognized from the very beginning. A man is sitting by edge of a cane field and learning French; the sun is about the go down, everything is filled with peace and warm sunlight colors. In the next second, he fires a gun and grimaces as a tied and hooded figure falls down to the ground with the hole in his chest. That is how you know it is going to be a good movie. At least promising, very promising. Rian Johnson created a beautiful mosaic of scenes, a perfect composition to prepare the audience to answer the questions the main characters are puzzled with. Those are, indeed, profound: What can one do to protect his life and happiness? What are the limits? What is good and bad? Are there choices? It is notable how Johnson develops his story in the futuristic frame with all the new gadgets that would for certain steal the entire attention in some Spielberg movie, but not in Looper. Taken for granted here, they only intensify the moral battle inside the characters, making them even more realistic and true. Complementing the conscience torments, the characters of Willis, Gordon-Levitt and especially Noah Segan (playing one of Abe’s men sent to kill Joe) are generously providing the expecting audience with the explosive action.
A good movie can be recognized from the very beginning, and even before. Looper opened last week at the Somerville Theatre and sold out in five minutes at the premiere showing. It is an undisputable hit of this fall.
Looper: directed by Rian Johnson. Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Jeff Daniels, Emily Blunt, Noah Segan, Piper Perabo. Rated R. Shows at the Somerville Theatre (55 Davis Sq., Somerville, MA 02144). For information about tickets, please visit somervilletheatreonline.com.