This review may contain spoilers
I had little expectations walking into “Looper” — the ad campaign was pathetic — but by the time it finished, I was blown away.
2012 was been a great year for sci-fi and fantasy and “Looper’s” a big reason why. Mix in equal helpings of “Blade Runner,” “Scanners” and “Time Cop” (plus a little “Witness” for seasoning) and you get a styled, original film that never bores. While we’ve seen everything featured in “Looper” before in other films, we’ve never quite seen it put together quite like this.
As written and directed by Rian Johnson, “Looper” never hesitates in its far out plot — it’s set in 2044 and the time travelers come from some 40 years later — so much so that the time travel gimmick becomes very believable (a very hard trick to pull off).
That’s partly because there’s plenty of other hardcore sci-fi gimmicks — rayguns, flying cars and psychic powers — also make appearances.
Despite all the chances for missteps, Johnson’s direction is crisp and never chooses style before story, instead letting the action dictate the camera work.
The film’s helped by a great cast — Bruce Willis is great of course, but so is Jeff Daniels as a mob boss, as is Joseph Gordon Levitt and Emily Blunt. These are very solid, very professional performances all the way around. None of them get overwhelmed by a story that could have very easily turned into a farce.
Far out plot aside, this movie works quite well as a detective story. It also plays on our expectations of what we want from our Hollywood stars.
The music, camera work, costumes are all top notch. Makeup plays a big role, as Levitt wears a “Bruce Willis” nose that doesn’t always work, but that about the worst thing I can say about this otherwise must see flick.
4 “Sweet! I didn’t see that one coming” stars out of 5. “Looper” hit stores Dec. 31.