Friday, October 05, 2012


We love time travel stories. We’re not including Memento in this group hug, however, because that was just impossible to follow. But, you know, gentle time travel stories that explain everything to us – or enough to not drive us completely batty – are welcome. Some movies work really well, like Midnight in Paris, Next, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Star Trek: First Contact, Source Code, but then there are the badly written ones like Prince of Persia, Uncertainty, 17 Again. The trick to making a good time travel movie is to bring something different, a well-written script that makes us think and care.
We have one in Looper, one of the most unusual films you’ll ever see. The first scene, of a hit man waiting for his mark to appear from the future, sets up the entire movie and warns you just how violent this journey is going to be. A “looper” is a professional hit man who kills hooded and tied mob men sent back to his past so that he can instantly shoot him. The twist this time is that the man Joe confronts to kill is his own self, the Bruce Willis older version of Joe.
I did a double-take when I saw Joseph Gordon-Levitt (you know, the young boy in Third Rock from the Sun, all grown up and doing dazzling work) for the first time. There was something different about him. His nose, especially, had been changed. I finally realized that Joe has been made up to look like his “older self,” played by Bruce Willis. In fact, Gordon-Levitt nails a younger impersonation of Willis, complete with clipped speech and that little smile at the corners of Willis’ mouth. He must’ve watched “Die Hard” 30 times.
This is a thriller of a movie, and following the story line this intricate takes some work but is highly satisfying. Thumb’s up for an unusual time travel story.


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