Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Looper: It’s Not About Your Joggers … 

You know, I think it has to be said, I’ve seen the Rian Johnson film, Looper, tonight.

And as impressive as it is is … ?

For starters, I’m thinking it’s not going to win any Oscars.

Secondly … ?   Secondly, the simple fact is that one of the film’s star — Hollywood veteran, Bruce Willis — is starting to look suspiciously like Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer.


There’s a thirdly, as well.   I’ve been mulling over the set of ratings I give the films I see: and how giving a four-star rating is increasingly attached to a film I believe you should see, regardless of any objective quality or what I think of it.   Any such film has to be seen: because I think it’s one that you have to make your own mind up about*.

At ANY rate … ?

At any rate, right here and now … ?

I’m thinking Looper isn’t going to be one of those films.

Hmmm … 

Let me grab a good night’s sleep: and I’ll try and summarize … !

Summarize being the word, I think …

Set in 2044, Looper is the story of Joe Simmons — played by Joseph Gordon-Levittº — who’s the Looper of the title.   In THIS particular universe, some thirty years ahead of the film’s date, time travel has been invented: and declared illegal.

And used quite extensively by the Mafia as a method of disposing of people.

By sending them back in time so they can be shot by the likes of Joe Simmons.

With each Looper being paid with solid silver bars tied to the bound, gagged and masked bodies of the their victims.   Of course, when the Mob feels that a given Looper is getting a touch to old … ?   They send him the masked and bound body of himself, complete with gold bars, to — as the characters call it — close the loop.

Jo Simmons problems start when his old friend Seth loop closing days comes: Seth lets himself go.

And, within a short while … ?

Within a short while, Jo faces the problem of having to deal with the same situation, when his older self —  played by Bruce Willis — is sent back though time to be killed.

Sent back, after having seen his wife killed …

And feeling mightily annoyed about it …


Now …

I was saying ‘… not going to win any Oscars’, wasn’t I … ?

Well … yes …

I’m going to try and avoid sounding harsh, here, so please bear that in mind.

Looper is a fantastic little film, with all four leads doing a fine job of their parts: Emily Blunt and Pierce Gignon rounding out the cast as Sara and her five year old son, Cid, who Young Joe has to protect from his older self.   The writing and dialogue is — likewise — excellent: managing to make what could have been a bloody mess of a time travel plot into something that was both meaty, and easy to follow.

It’s ALSO — in a sense — a very engaging film and watchable film

In that sense, it’s easy to see why Kim Newman — writing in Empire — described it as having “ … a brain, courage and a heart.”

However … 

However, the downside to this, is the simple fact that Looper is something of an exception amongst sci-fi films.

It’s good: but unfortunately attempting to set the bar for intelligent sf that’s already been set — many years ago — by things like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Silent Running and Bladerunner.

Speaking personally, I have to admit, I enjoyed Looper.

It’s a watchable one: but one that left me wanting more: that’s not something I’m totally happy about.

*        Yes, Grub, Kevin: I’m talking to you, too … !

º        Who I’d last seen in The Dark Knight Rises: and who — in the makeup, and given I’m thinking having those sort of ideas about Bruce Willis — didn’t half make me think of Danny Dyer … 

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