LooperReleased on September 27, 2012 2 comments
At some point, we’ve all wanted to erase some personal history. Failed marriages, troubled relationships and missed opportunities are only some of the things worth putting in the rearview and never thinking about again.
“Looper,” takes this concept to an extreme, when trained killers (Loopers) are sent back in time to wipe out any existence of certain undesirables. The folks making these decisions are said to be a huge criminal empire, which has taken over for honest government. (As if that ever existed.)
Don’t know why simply knocking off the enemies in real time isn’t enough, but we’re not here to quibble. In fact, we usually head for the hills when it comes to SCI-FI, but the trailer for this one is intriguing.
A few weeks back we sang the praises of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who was getting his leading-guy shot as a rough and tumble bike messenger in “Premium Rush.” As a whole it looked a might silly but as we said, he deserved a shot in deference to the great character work he’d done over the years. Sadly, not many agreed, and “Rush” barely made a ripple.
This one stands a better chance as Levitt doesn’t have to carry all the water. Baldness role model Bruce Willis plays Levitt’s Looper as an older hitter, and we guess from an earlier incarnation. The two have some tense showdowns as Levitt tries to fulfill his contract, even if that apparently means wiping himself off the planet.
Time travel as a narrative crutch has been around since well before celluloid. HG Wells was one of many who wrote books about it. Though for the most part, films that incorporated the experience have pretty much turned out cheesy and low-rent. Looper may drift into corniness as well, but it doesn’t appear to be shoddy.
Like the other characters, Emily Blunt mopes around, turning off her British-speak to sell us on some sort of Midwestern girlfriend to Levitt’s Cleaner. Blunt has been pushed hard by the Studio-Goof establishment, and no one’s really sure why. She’s attractive but not in the cover of Maxim mode. Blunt also lacks that intangible screen pop. Then again, many of today’s leading ladies suffer from charisma-bypass syndrome. The more boring the better. We’re not writing her off, but if she has any significant talent, she has yet to show it.
Willis on the other hand, is inching perilously close to the “Meet-Quote-Will-Work” pension plan, presided over by Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. His increasingly frequent and desperate appearances on Letterman have grown stale as well.
Even with these two huge casting strikes, we’d still say this one’s worth a look. Yes, it feels a little like “Timecop,” but what the hell.
For the rest of you, there’s always “Won’t Back Down,” the latest Norma-Rayish, uplift-chick offering featuring Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhall. We’d rather be forced to sit though an 8-week course in Silverlake Feng Shui, but that’s just us.