Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Pierce Gagnon, Garrett Dillahunt, Noah Segan, Jeff Daniels, Paul Dano, Piper Perabo, and more.
Directed by: Rian Johnson Written by: Rian Johnson Cinematography by: Steve Yedlin Original Music by: Nathan Johnson
Premise: In the year 2044, Joe is Looper, an assassin for the mob who shows up at a preassigned location and time and kills the person sent back from thirty years in the future then disposes of the body. As part of their contract, Loopers know that if they're still alive in thirty years, their older selves will at some point be sent back and they must execute them when they do. Joe is totally okay with that, until one of his kills doesn't show up on time and when it does, he has no hood and is partially free. Now Joe needs to find Older Joe and kill him as contracted, before his bosses find Joe and do horrible things to him to bring the loop to a close. (Rated R)
1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Joseph Gordon-Levitt did a phenomenal job as Joe. Not only did he let them change his features so he might more closely resemble Bruce Willis for the role, but he also picked up some of his mannerism and manner of speech as well. Bruce Willis is well known for his dry wit deliveries and performed to his usual high standards. Old Joe resonated with the lessons he'd learned and the things he'd experienced later in life. And Bruce pulled the audience along as he was tortured by some of the decision he now felt he had to make. Emily Blunt was also very convincing as Cid's angst ridden mom.
But the actor who stole the show was Pierce Gagnon as the young boy Cid. He gave an excellent and unexpectedly deep performance. He'll be one to watch in the future.
2) Special Effects - Thumbs Up: The bulk of the story occurs in a near future, so it's a lot of the little touches that make this feel real. Old and new tech mix together, people picking and choosing depending on what they can afford.
The most impressive special effects were during a sequence close to the beginning and one towards the end. But it is the first one which will stick with you because of its impact. Seth's fate is one watchers will not soon forget.
3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: There is so many fun directions that can be taken with time travel stories, and this film makes definite use of a few of those. What was truly enjoyable was some of the inventiveness that went along with the film. There were several threads running concurrently and many will link back on one another. I don't want to say too much or I might give something away, but the story will not exactly go in the direction you expect.
Only one scene in the film seemed out of place. Almost like they wanted to play the old multiple timelines game, but didn't exactly go through with it, but yet they didn't get rid of the scene, so things didn't quite fit. However, there was so much going on around that same time, that most audience members will forget the momentary confusion as they get carried along by the rest.
4) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: There were several lovely sweeping views of the 2044 cityscape as seen from the direction of Joe's killing field. Cane fields and farms filled the zone outside the city and they played an important part as backdrops in several scenes.
Conclusion: A fun time travel romp filled with action and unexpected bits of humor and angst. Definitely worth a watch.
Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission and Would See Again For Matinee)