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Looper

By AARON MESH

Brain-bending sci-fi loses its snap when treated like homework, but you won’t really understand Looper unless you prepare by watching a few episodes of Moonlighting. They will prime you to better appreciate the lead Looper performance of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who delivers a precise, slyly parodic mimicry of Bruce Willis circa 1987. The ubiquitous trailers have revealed that Gordon-Levitt plays the same character as Willis, and that he’s been given a makeup job to recall a skinnier baby Bruce, but the previews barely scrape the forgery of mannerisms. Gordon-Levitt has been a regularly mesmeric actor for the last decade, so it’s peculiar that his breakthrough comes from impersonating an icon. But that paradox fits the aims of director Rian Johnson, who used Gordon-Levitt as a teenage Sam Spade in Brick, and with Looper throws 100 years of film noir into a blender. The picture is set in the future—2040, with a brief discursion to 2070—but it is breathlessly in love with movies past. Early buzz is praising the originality, but Johnson has in fact succeeded at repurposing familiar elements in unusually satisfying ways. At various junctures, Looper reminded me vividly of the following antecedents: Point BlankDonnie DarkoOnce Upon a Time in the WestBlade Runner,ChinatownD.O.A.The OmenWitness and the anime Akira. Forget neo-noir: This is retro-neo-futurist noir. In resurrecting sights and faces we never thought we’d see afresh, Looper knows what movie lovers always feel: The past is never dead. It’s not even past. And it’s got a gun.

 
  • Genres: Action, Science fiction, Thriller
  • Running Time: 119 minutes
  • Release Date: Friday, September 28, 2012
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • MPAA Rating: R [ Drug Content, Language, Some Sexuality/Nudity, Strong Violence ]
  • Critic's Score: A
  • Starring: Bruce Willis [Old Joe], Joseph Gordon-Levitt [Joe], Emily Blunt [Sara], Paul Dano [Seth], Noah Segan [Kid Blue], Piper Perabo [Suzie], Jeff Daniels [Abe], Summer Qing [Old Joe's Wife], Tracie Thomas [Beatrix], Frank Brennan [Old Seth], Garret Dillahunt [Jesse], Nick Gomez [Dale], Marcus Hester [Zach], Jon Eyez [Gat Man], Kevin Stillwell [Gat Man], Thirl Haston [Gat Man], James Hébert [Looper], Kenneth Brown [Looper], Cody Wood [Looper], Adam Boyer [Tye]
  • Directed by: Rian Johnson [Director], Rian Johnson [Screenwriter], Ram Bergman [Producer], James D. Stern [Producer], Douglas Hansen [Executive Producer], Julie Goldstein [Executive Producer], Peter Schlessel [Executive Producer], Joseph Gordon-Levitt [Executive Producer], Dan Mintz [Executive Producer], Steve Yedlin [Cinematographer], Ed Verreaux [Production Design], Bob Ducsay [Film Editor], Sharen Davis [Costume Designer], Nathan Johnson [Original Music], Mary Vernieu [Casting], Lindsay Graham [Casting], James Gelarden [Art Director], Scott Plauche [Art Director], Katherine Verreaux [Set Decoration]
  • Visit the Movie Website | Watch the trailer
 

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