Looper[2012]

27 12 2012
Looper

This poster is in complete contrast to the feel movie gives us. So don’t get fooled by the neon effects!

Looper is one among in my list of highly anticipated movies of 2012. Others are Life of Pi and Django Unchained. I saw Life of Pi but I am yet to write a review because of various reasons. Django Unchained wont release in India till late march! :/ So Looper will do the honours of ending my exodus.

Looper was added to the Movies-I-want-to-see-before-“apocalypse” list only 5 or 6 months ago when I was surfing through the Wikipedia pages!

By 2044, the United States has suffered economic collapse, causing severe social decay and growth in organized crime. In addition, a strange mutation has occurred in 10% of the population, giving them limited telekinetic powers. In 2074 Time travel is invented, but is immediately outlawed. In addition, tracking technology has rendered it nearly impossible to dispose of bodies secretly, so when crime bosses want to eliminate a target they send them back to the past to be killed by “loopers”: hired guns paid in silver to kill whoever is sent to them. When crime bosses want to end a looper’s contract, they send the looper’s future self back to be killed by his past self, called “closing the loop”, where they are given gold instead of silver pay to retire for thirty years before being sent back in time to be killed. (Excerpts from wikipedia)

This is all I have read and I was instantly in the “loop”. Later I heard about Looper being called this decade’s Matrix. Obviously anticipation arose further. Did I like the movie? That depends on how I see the movie.If I saw it as a science fiction movie,I would say the movie is mediocre. On the other hand if I saw it as a character-driven sci-fi drama, I would say the movie is pretty good.First lets see whats wrong with the Sci-Fi element of the movie.

Looper is a laid back sci-fi movie, it is lazy in telling its audience the physics and paradoxes surrounding time travel.Time-Travel is one of the most over-utilized element in science fiction. Cinemas around the globe have seen it right from A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court(1921) to and recently in Men in Black 3. People who seriously thought about these movies would know that a script writer can never simply write a Time-Travel centered movie without adding a solid scientific core to the script. Because the time-travel theme offers us with a lot of intricacies,complexities and all those brain numbing paradoxes. Without answering these problems sci-fi films lay flat leaving audience exasperated. Looper’s script writer tries to avoid this by using characters to say dialogues like, “Don’t think about time travel too much,it will fry your brain like eggs” and “I don’t want to talk about time travel shit”. So this is kind of an escapism that the makers thought will make it more like a philosophical film. But the film doesn’t say much about all that either. When you see this movie in the strict sci-fi mentality the movie lags by paces when compared to what other movies has to offer in the similar genre. I am saying all this because the movie is listed as a science fiction film in both IMDB and Wikipedia.

One does not simply Time Travel

One does not simply Time Travel

Even though I didn’t like the sci-fi treatment given to the film,i liked moral dilemmas the characters face through out the film. Movie’s tagline is “Fight your Future,Face your past”. Joseph Gordon-Levitt,the younger Joe(protagonist) has to confront his older self,Bruce Willis from the future. In physical terms,both are the same person but the age and experiences has made the older Joe a very different person, that they now(“now” differs from old joe to present joe. 😀 ) have different goals. The most memorable scene from Looper is the diner scene where Future Joe and Present Joe have a very interesting and witty conversation about their priorities in life. The scene portrays visually and emotionally contrast personalities whose views and aspirations are different because of emotional and physical maturity one attains with age. Its more like those internal conversations we have with our mind about what we should’ve done in the past and what we should have not.

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Looper-Diner Scene

Since that diner scene was so exceptional, Its disappointing that the scenarist didn’t bother to expand that Present Joe-Future Joe confrontation further. And Bruce Willis’s character was a bit under-developed.(I might be saying this because I just finished watching the Die Hard 5 trailer and also because of the fact that I am a big fan of Bruce Willis,so you can ignore this :D). So as usual Bruce Willis carries the character with ease,no surprises there. Joseph Gordon-Levitt excels with his superb imitation/embodiment of Bruce Willis and his mannerisms.His portrayal of moral confusion his character endures towards the climax of the film is exceptional.Emily Blunt as Self-Reliant mom shines despite being overshadowed by the two heavy weight male protagonists! Pierce Gagnon as the Future-Villain-to-be kid was awesome! I am pretty sure that if the children in his school has ever seen the movie,he will find it difficult to get some friends or maybe even loose some!(atleast for the next 2-3 years 😀 ) That is the kind of evil-ness he spread whenever he shows those Rainmaker traits! Paul Dano as Present Joe’s companion looks confident and it’s quite difficult to believe he is the same guy that portrayed that lanky nerdy school boy in Girl Next Door.

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Willis'ified!

Willis’ified!

The make-up artist Kazuhiro Tsuji needs special mention for his great job with prosthetic, converting the long head of  Joseph Gordon-Levitt into the round head similar to Bruce willis! Talking about the Direction,Rian Johnson has done a great job creating a dystopian society which fears its present as well as future! Surprisingly he doesn’t create any insane futuristic  machines which is considered a requisite in most science fiction films. Maybe he thought,his film’s plot doesn’t require any! It may be true,but still for a movie to have that science fiction feel,I think there must be some futuristic tech for the audience to eye candy!

So overall I thought the movie was somewhere between mediocre and pretty good.Mediocre because of under-utilized and under played sci-fi theme and pretty good because of the character driven plot! But still something tells me that in a distant future I will eat up my words and say that this movie is a classic! Want to know why? Even I don’t know,it’s just a gut feeling! Only time will tell. But let me tell one thing,as of now I don’t think Looper is this decade’s answer to matrix.Maybe it will be,but lets just not jump into any conclusions.Let the decade pan out.

Rating –redstar_matte_tan_transpredstar_matte_tan_transpredstar_matte_tan_transp  [3/5]

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