Thursday, October 25, 2012

I Finally Saw, "Looper," And Will Share My Thoughts

A short while ago I finally got around to seeing, "Looper." I went with my girlfriend and as we hadn't had dinner I enjoyed a meal at the movie theater (which updated itself recently with a full menu and even a bar) whilst watching the flick. I share this with you to make a point--I was so engrossed in, "Looper," I didn't want to take my eyes off the screen to grab my chicken tenders or some fries. Seriously, I didn't want to miss a moment. I should have known I'd love this, after all, the first film by director Rian Johnson, "Brick," is one of my favorite movies (and also happens to star Joseph Gordon-Levitt, natch).

"Looper," is unique in that it isn't based on a book, isn't a sequel to something, and doesn't come from any licensed property such as a comic, toy, or video-game. This is something purely unique and that alone is admirable. It also helps that this is a really great movie.
Loopers are assassins who kill people sent from even further in the future than the time the movie takes place in (2042). Apparently in the future its pretty much impossible to get rid of body so gangs use the highly-illegal method of time-travel to send someone they need killed into the past. The thing is, if a Looper is still alive in the future there comes a time they are expected to, "kill themselves," as it were. Anyone who has seen a preview for, "Looper," clearly knows that Levitt fails at that task and hence our movie has its conflict. It's a good start to the story and stays interesting all the way to the end. It even makes time-travel work in a way that isn't too confusing--and that's a hard task.

One problem with when you have time-travel as a plot point is that it can get pretty hard to understand, especially if you think too hard about it. "Looper's," rules of time-travel are pretty solid, but the movie itself knows that the concept is just a means for the film to happen and doesn't let itself get bogged down in the details of this beloved trope. At one point when Levitt asks his future self (played wonderfully by Bruce Willis) if he remembers everything because its already happened to him, Willis says how if they tried to figure out all this time-travel stuff they would spend all day making charts out of straws; Willis literally says, "It doesn't matter!" as if making a bit of a meta-commentary about how some science fiction films get so bogged down in their own rules and logic a good story can't be told. Actually, let's talk a bit more about this setting, which allows such a good story.

The majority of, "Looper," is focused on Kansas City and either Missouri's or Kansas' outlying farmland (for those who don't know, Kansas City is right on the border of Missouri and Kansas, with most of the city actually being located in Missouri despite its name).

The near-future setting seems so believable in how its shown that the only thing which is kind of, "out-there," besides time-travel  (and hover-craft vehicles which barely work) is how some of the population has mild telekinesis. Luckily the movie even points out the humor of this saying how when people with, "TK," started being born it was thought there would be super-powers, but instead they got jerks levitating quarters to try and impress women.

One thing that bugged me about the movie is there is a stripper (and prostitute?) who Levitt seems to have a thing for, but after she pops up a bit in the early parts of the movie she just disappears from the plot. Her character seemed mostly unnecessary, she was just there to have a female presence in the film before Emily Blunt shows up. The only other problem I can think of is a small technical one in that an outlying farm grows sugar-cane, something which struck me as odd because I thought sugar-cane needed a hot environment to grow. Sure enough, there actually is no sugar-cane grown around here! I'm also okay with the movie doing this however, as it would make sense that if we have further climate change you could grow sugar cane out in Kansas' farmland.

With items that minimal as complaints I clearly loved this movie. It was full of action, had many suspenseful moments, threw in some humor at times, and we really saw over the film how Levitt's character matured from the selfish brat he starts out as to a much more responsible individual.

Speaking of Levitt, he is great in this movie. At first I didn't think much of him some years ago. I just knew him as the kid on, "3rd Rock From The Sun," but then I saw, "Brick," and realized this fellow definitely had the acting chops to become a star. Once he did a great job in, "Inception," other folk started to recognize that too and with, "Looper," not only being a great movie but doing quite well at the box office I'm pleased someone with Levitt's talent is starting to get so popular.

As for the other actors, the aforementioned Bruce Willis is great with his portrayal of a man who is both hard-as-nails but also has a sweet side as we see with his future-wife. Plus, Jeff Daniel's is great as a man sent from the future to set up the Loopers, and Emily Blunt is superb as the owner of a farm which a fair amount of, "Looper's," action takes place in and around.

This movie is amazing and you need to see it. Even if you don't normally go for science-fiction stuff or hate anything that has to do with time-travel (as I know some people do) you still should get to any theater that is still showing this. If you can't see it in a theater make sure you rent it/buy it once it comes out for home-viewing. This movie is just fantastic, I don't know how many ways I can say it. View it somehow and then thank me later if I'm the one who convinced you to see it--trust me, you'll want to thank me.

5 out of 5 stars.

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