The Circle of Life
In the year 2044 Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a hired killer, but not some ordinary killer, he is a looper working for Abe (Jeff Daniels) who was sent back from 2074 by the mob to run the Loopers. The Loopers job is to be in the right price at the right time to kill people sent back from the future by the mob and then dispose of the body, a perfect crime. The trouble is that when the future mob decide to call time on your contract as a Looper you are sent a golden handshake when the future version of yourself is sent back to be killed. When Joe shows up like he always does for his hit he realises it is the future version of him, old Joe (Bruce Willis) and in that split second of hesitating old Joe gets away. Now Joe must hunt down future Joe before things get too messy but of course they do when the trail leads to a farm and Sara (Emily Blunt) as well as her son Cid (Pierce Gagnon) who has telekinetic powers.
Rian Johnson who both wrote and directed "Looper" is a man with some fascinating ideas which seriously suck you in. The trouble is that trying to bring all those ideas together is a difficult job and in truth I don't think they quite work as a whole, but they sure are fascinating. And here is the sucky part because I cannot really review "Looper" because to do so would mean I have to give twists away and there is no way I am going to do that as this movie is too good to do that to despite standing by what I said about it not quite coming together.
So what do I do then? Well first up you are sure going to be fascinated by watching Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a facial prosthetic to make him look a little more like Bruce Willis. It isn't convincing, it doesn't look natural and you begin to question why? Yes Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a very good actor and his performance in "Looper" is good but surely there are other actors who already looked a little like a younger Willis than JGL does. But having said that Levitt and Willis work well together to make for an unusual pairing especially with those facial prosthetics.
But then you also have a lot of interesting ideas from the basic premise of in the future a hitman killing those sent back from even further in the future to the whole idea that Old Joe knows what will happen as he has already been in the position which young Joe is living. Yes you are going to have to wrap your head around some time travel malarkey but you are also going to enjoy the clever touches such as young Joe carving a message in to his own arm to pass on a message to old Joe in the shape of a scar on his as well as an idea which feels like a variation of something from "Terminator".
As for how this pans out with the story involving a kid with telekinetic abilities. Well some people think this lifts the movie with intelligence whilst others are disappointed by this turn of events. I suppose if you expected just pure action with one Joe chasing another it will disappoint but for me this twist worked although as I said not really working in a smooth way with the rest of the movie, making it feel like another idea shoe horned together with another one.
What this all boils down to is that "Looper" is genuinely a fascinating and entertaining movie with some great ideas. But at times it feels like several interesting ideas pushed together which don't quite work as they are even though they are each fascinating in their own right.