The premise of this time-travel action blockbuster is laid out early on. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a “looper” in 2044: a time where time travel had been invented but immediately outlawed. Criminal gangs looking to get rid of people send them back from a more distant future (where it is notoriously difficult to dispose of people) where they appear hooded in front of a looper who shoots them and gets rid of the body. The only thing is that each looper has a shelf life and when the gang has had enough they “close the loop” by sending a future version of them-self back to be neatly disposed of by themselves.
It really romps along and it’s good fun, with quite an unconventional structure. It has a nicely realistic view of 2044 but a, perhaps, more ridiculous and carried-away vision of 2074. Bruce Willis gives a great performance as an unwavering and highly motivated man on a mission but faced with a Terminator 2 type dilemma. Emily Blunt plays a very strong woman and Jeff Daniels pops up briefly but adds colour with a welcome contrasting character. Joseph Gordon-Levit has the biggest chunk of screen time and is also good as a cold-hearted self-interested loser, but I couldn’t help but be permanently distracted by his fake eyebrows and lipstick! I also felt that a key scene between Joseph Gordon-Levit and Bruce Willis was scripted poorly from Joseph Gordon-Levit’s character’s pont of view and felt like a wrong step.
Still, for the most part it is an enjoyable ride. Perhaps a little short-lived and disposable, perhaps without all the time-travel plot points tied up, but its an entertaining journey while its happening.
3 on 5
Director: Rian Johnson
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levit, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Jeff Daniels
UK Release: 28th September 2012