Newest Review: ... place for a simple execution, using a blunderbuss to the head. You see, in the future, when time travel will be invented, disposing of b... more
Time travel hasn't been invented yet, but it will have been
Member Name: pmcds
Advantages: Levitt and Bruce; action and plot
Disadvantages: A couple of blips in maintaining attention but nothing major
Films involving time travel usually have the capacity to completely confuse me. Twelve Monkes, for example, is a film I've watched umpteen times and still can't quite get my head around it. Similarly, Inception was a film that spun me out and made me really think about the difference between reality and possibility. Imagine my trepidation then, when the stars of each of these two, Bruce Willis and Jospeh Gordon Levitt, combine to play the same person in this film which threatens to loop my mind to madness.
The film wastes no time in getting right to the crux of the content. Levitt plays Joe, a young man who is a Looper, someone who is employed to kill people sent back in time to a parrticular time and place for a simple execution, using a blunderbuss to the head. You see, in the future, when time travel will be invented, disposing of bodies is virtually impossible. So those wishing to do so sending live bodies back in time instead. Mob boss Abe has gone back in time to organise things from the present, and the person repsonsible for deciding who gets sent back and killed from the future, the Rain Maker, sorts things from that end. When Joe's future self gets sent back, a slight hesitation is all it needs for time travel chaos to ensue.
The key thing here for me, and what swung this film in favour or a thumbs up, is in how Levitt plays Joe to make him look like a younger Bruce Willis. Perhaps laziness on the elder actor's part, but the younger one does a phenomenal job of it, and I thought this was the stand out element of the film. As it progresses and small little bits of the plot's minor twists sink into place, the action takes over, but the first part of the film is definitely filled with plot development and a director's attempts to make something complicated relatively simple. I'm not sure what script Rian Johnson had to work with at the start, but the film certainly ends up being one of the more understandable ones of its genre.
Plenty of budget has been sent towards the action scenes in this one, with plenty of effective special effects balanced out with some good acting, and the inclusion of a futuristic telekinesis engrained in certain people. The scenes where this is demonstrated are particularly well done, as are those where the minimal amount of sound is used to great effect. There's a danger that a film like this will drop off and tail towards a disappointing finish, and while the middle parts veered towards doing so a couple of times, there was always something explosive or revealing to snap your attention back in just in time.
I wouldn't say this is a gem of a film, but much like Bruce Willis' films usually are, this is reliable entertainment that gives you most of the explanation without having to make you think. My fears over Twelve Monkeys and Inception were unfounded, and the inevitable bigger twist in the plot, while obvious to a certain extent, is not given any support until needed right towards the end, with other potential twists given chances to keep us honest. Certainly worth a watch even if it's not one to stand up and applaud.
Summary: Effetcive and enjoyable time travelling action film