LooperFeature Film | Rian Johnson By Jeff VanVickle
Thoughtful time-travel noir is Johnson's best film yet.
In an industry saturated with remakes and sequels, getting an entirely original sci-fi film off the ground has to be a daunting task. With writer-director Rian Johnson's brilliant time-travel thriller Looper, his third feature after the high school noir Brick and the clever caper flick The Brothers Bloom, the inventive filmmaker shouldn't have any trouble snagging a greenlight for years to come.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is at his hardboiled finest as Joe, a mid-21st century "looper," or a hitman tasked with eliminating mob targets sent to him from thirty years in the future. Joe revels in his care-free lifestyle of excess until his future self (Bruce Willis) appears before him to be executed, sending his life spinning out of control. To give away any more of the plot would be a crime; while half the fun of Looper comes from its smart action sequences and thoughtful production design, the real entertainment value is in Johnson's script. Time-travel films are so often riddled with gaping plot holes and inconsistencies, and Johnson is smart enough to steer clear of these pitfalls, reminding us more than once to stop thinking about the intricate timelines and just enjoy the ride. Emily Blunt and Jeff Daniels round out the cast of three-dimensional characters, proving that even with big ideas, a film is pointless without characters worth investing in. To put it simply, Looper sits comfortably amongst the best sci-fi of the last decade, and stands out as one of the best films of the year.