A new favorite.
Looper is the kind of film that will shock everyone who sees it. You walk in expecting a typical science-fiction action film and nothing more, but you walk out with waves of different things running through your mind. The entire audience, and myself, all brainstormed out-loud while walking out of the theater. Listening to people talk with who they came with and seeing their reaction to Looper, it was quite clear that the film had left an impact on them. This was Johnson's goal; to leave your braining running on a treadmill until you pieced the entire thing together. Through a mind-boggling car ride home, it hit me like an oncoming truck. All of the brilliance and the entire set-up that Johnson had written out and crafted so beautifully had planted into my brain like the ABC's. I almost instantly thought to myself, "When next week can I plan to see this again?". Then I thought to myself, "When again after that?". Looper is no doubt a film I'll venture out to see more than a couple times. It's just that good.
Joseph Gordon Levitt is at the climax of his career. Ever since his performance in (500) Days of Summer I knew the guy would make it far in the movie industry, just in a matter of time. Though that film wasn't the start to his career, it was certainly the beginning of his rise to fame. Since then he's starred in two summer blockbusters released by Christopher Nolan and even gave an Oscar-worthy performance in last year's dramatic-comedy, 50/50. Levitt may have been snubbed of an Oscar-nom for his performance in that film but he throws another excellent performance at us with Looper, as Young Joe. The character is complex. He's arrogant and not the kind of person you'd want to be friends with, yet he's so intriguing and you're almost able to connect with him more and more as the film plays out. Levitt plays the performance to a pulp. It was a without a shadow of a doubt wonderful performance and Levitt shouldn't deserve any attention, he should demand it at this point.
Bruce Willis kicks the door open and blasts on through as Older Joe. Even though Levitt and Willis are playing the same character, just at different stages in their lives, you get the idea that they are two different people, even if they are one in the same. Older Joe isn't as stubborn as Younger Joe. He's smarter, stronger, and not as arrogant. Willis gives probably what is the best performance of his career. Not his most famous, that goes to Die Hard, but performance-wise I really loved Willis in this role and as this character. His chemistry with Levitt, especially in what people are already calling "The Diner Scene", is incredible. Both Levitt and Willis do an outstanding job playing the same character, but branching out and making them both feel different at the same time. Kudos goes to them and Johnson for writing them this way.
The make-up on Joseph Gordon Levitt was done extremely well. Putting in the effort to make him look like a younger Bruce Willis was just extra-work from the director's side that I think we all need to appreciate. At times it was hard for me to even realize that the face I was looking at was Levitt. I could feel Willis in Levitt's eyes and in the texture of his face. For make-up to make such a difference on the film it just goes to show how worthy it is of an Oscar-nomination.
Looper is the kind of film that I could rant about and wouldn't be able to stop for another ten paragraphs or so. With a film like Looper, you have to be able to review it without giving away any indication of the plot and without going too far into detail. All you need to know is that the film revolves around time-travel and that you are in for one hell of a ride. The film locks in with pitch-perfect performance by all of it's leads; Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jeff Daniels, and Emily Blunt all chip in and make this an actor's piece worth remembering. The action-sequences are top-notch and even with all of the action the plot is still open and moves forward without an issue. Johnson has done an excellent job playing around with the concept of time-travel and giving it a original take. Looper is one of the most original pieces of film in a long while and it deserves to be praised for everything it has to offer. It's Oscar season ladies and gentlemen...and Looper is first on the list for you to make a must-see! This is no doubt an instant-classic and one of my new favorites.
Thanks for the read!
-Written by Corey Wood