Looper review

On Sunday, 30 September 2012, I met Beruk A., Thomas K.Y. & Kai-Yin H. for Looper at the AMC Burlington 10 cineplex. We enjoyed the time-travel drama, which was one of the better genre movies I’ve seen in the theaters so far this year.

Rian Johnson's time-travel movie

We liked one of director Rian Johnson‘s previous films, Brick, which was a noirish thriller set in a high school. Joseph Gordon-Leavitt, who was also in Brick, plays Joe, an assassin hired by criminals from the future who is confronted with closing his own loop.

Gordon-Leavitt endured makeup and altered his mannerisms to match Bruce Willis (12 Monkeys) as the older version of Joe, who goes on the lam to try to fix history. Of course, with gun-toting thugs, telekinesis, and a dystopian world, nothing goes as planned for any of Looper‘s characters.

The rest of the supporting cast is strong, including Piper Perabo as a dancer, Jeff Daniels as a crimelord, Paul Dano and Garrett Dillahunt (Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles) as fellow “loopers,” Emily Blunt as a secretive farmer, and young Kamden Beauchamp as a creepy child.

Looper alludes to previous time-travel films such as those mentioned above, and it does a decent job of bringing up the questions of paradoxes, free will vs. predestination, and “If you could go back in time and kill Hitler as a child, would you?” Looper doesn’t resolve all these, but the character development and action scenes keep the story moving.

Overall, I’d give Looper, which is rated R for strong violence, an 8.5 out of 10, four out of five stars, or a B+/A-. I’d put Looper close to the much-maligned John Carter, the blockbuster Avengers, and darkly whimsical ParaNorman and would recommend it to other science fiction fans.

I’ve missed other recent dystopian movies, including Total Recall and Dredd, and I don’t know if I’ll see animated Halloween flicks Hotel Transylvania or Frankenweenie. Before Looper, we sat through numerous previews, and only Argo and Lincoln looked promising. I’m looking forward more to James Bond in Skyfall, Rise of the Guardians, and of course, The Hobbit [1]: An Unexpected Journey!