Hollywood@Home: Looper

Joseph Gordon-Levitt kills bad guys for a living in the year 2044.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt kills bad guys for a living in the year 2044.

Call it the coolest, most complex sci-fi of 2012 and the best movie of its kind since “Inception.”  Pow!  What a ride!

“Looper” stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a mafia hitman in the year 2044.  Time travel is not discovered until 30 years later and is quickly outlawed.  But, organized crime uses the new technology to dispose of people it doesn’t like by bagging their heads, sending them back to 2044 where a hitman like Joe Simmons (Gordon-Levitt) quickly blows them away.

Sounds pretty straightforward, right?  Well, when you start messing with time travel, things can get very complex in a heartbeat.  And, Hollywood sci-fi movies often spoon-feed their audience to keep confusion at a minimum.  Not so with “Looper.”  Like “Inception,” you can’t just casually watch the proceedings.  This a smart, fast-paced film that’s worth your time and attention.

Bruce Willis plays Joe’s older self, teleported to 2044 so Joe can blow him away.  But, older Joe doesn’t have his head bagged and quickly turns his back to the shotgun.  The gold bars planted on his back shield him from the blast.  He knocks out his younger self and quickly escapes.  You see, the hitmen know they have 30 years before their “loop” is closed.  So, it’s no great surprise when they are asked to kill their older selves.  Once the older Joe is dead, the younger Joe can spend the next 30 years off the clock.  Oh, and plenty of gold is sent back strapped to the back of his older self.

Anyway, that’s about all the facts you need to get started with this first-rate science fiction.  Pay attention and your mind will get blown.  Oh, and buy a Blu-ray copy now that it’s on video, because there’s plenty of explanation available through special features.

You probably already have surmised that the writing is pretty darn good.  Well, the acting and directing is top-notch as well.  Gordon-Levitt is one of the coolest actors working in today’s movies.  He’s also pretty lucky to be not only in this film, but “Inception” as well.  I really like this guy.

Kudos to writer-director Rian Johnson.  I look forward to his next effort.  Grade: A

Fast Facts:

Original Theatrical Release Date: September 28, 2012

Video Release Date: December 31, 2012

Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Runtime: 118 minutes

Rated: R

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