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Looper - Review

Looper

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 4.5 out of 5

RIAN Johnson’s Looper mixes intelligent sci-fi with blockbuster thrills. It’s smart, fun and not to be missed.

Set in the not-too-distant future, when time travel hasn’t been invented, the film follows an assassin, or looper, named Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) whose task it is to kill anyone sent back in time from the future by the organised crime organisation now running things.

When Joe is suddenly confronted with his older self (Bruce Willis) a moment of hesitation allows the target to get away. But why has he been sent back? And why does his elder self now have his own kill list of unexpected targets?

Johnson, who returns here to the type of genre bending form that he first displayed with Brick, does an excellent job of posing questions that he then has tremendous fun in answering.

In doing so he does reference past science fiction classics, from The Terminator to The Matrix, but also maintains an identity of his own.

He also deftly combines some of the film’s dark themes (concerning the nature of fate and evil) with lighter moments that alleviate the tension without allowing the film to become too glib.

As we’ve come to expect, Gordon-Levitt is excellent as the main character, a cocky, even morally ambiguous assassin forced to re-evaluate his thinking. While there’s equally fantastic support from Willis, as his older, wiser and more desperate self.

Emily Blunt is also on career-changing form as a tough-talking Texan farm owner with a crucial link to proceedings and Jeff Daniels combines wit and menace as a ruthless employer.

Sci-fi often stands or falls on just how well it can convince of futuristic scenarios and ensure everything makes sense. But Looper achieves this with aplomb without sacrificing on spectacle or thrills – even the set pieces impress. Yet, crucially, it also makes you care about what happens too.

It’s what elevates it to the position of instant classic. See Looper at the earliest opportunity – your future self will tell you that you had a blast.

Certificate: 15
Running time: 118mins
UK Release Date: September 28, 2012