Home  >  Movies & TV  >  Movie Reviews

Movie & TV Reviews

Review: Thriller 'Looper' is sci-fi fun

Looper

Director: Rian Johnson

Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt

Rated: R (strong violence, strong language, nudity/sexuality, drug use)

Running time: 118 min.


Posted 3:01pm on Thursday, Oct. 04, 2012

In 2009, it looked as if we might be on the cusp of a golden age of science fiction in TV and film. Battlestar Galactica was wrapping up its award-winning, five-year run and the big-screen Star Trek reboot proved to be a surprisingly enjoyable return to form.

Two other movies, Moon and District 9, reminded viewers that science fiction can be about heart and humanity, not just hardware.

That new dawn proved elusive though as there hasn't been much lately for those who crave some brain power along with their effects-driven firepower. Now comes Looper, the time-travel tease from indie director/writer Rian Johnson ( Brick, The Brothers Bloom) that is an immensely fun yet thought-provoking ride.

The ubiquitous Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Joe, a hit man living 30 years in the future whose job it is to execute other criminals sent through a time machine from his future. He erases their past, and what would have been their future ceases to exist. Case closed.

But then he comes face to face with his older self (Bruce Willis), who is sent back to be disposed of. This is where Looper is most intriguing -- Willis and Gordon-Levitt engage in a tense standoff in which they talk about what was, what will be and what may never be.

Where Looper begins to teeter off the track is when it sacrifices this one-on-one intensity for special effects, a potential love interest (Emily Blunt) and a plot involving telekinesis. (Though, to be fair, their inclusion means we get one really cool death scene.)

And, as with most time-travel sagas, you can't think about the details of how this world works too much -- or about Gordon-Levitt's Willis-mimicking makeover -- without giving yourself a migraine.

Still, there's enough here to make you think maybe that promised golden age hasn't been derailed, just delayed.

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse, images, internet links or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?


Hey there. or join DFW.com. Your account. Log out.

Remember me




We now have a new, simpler way for you to enter and search for events, at listings.dfw.com. As always, when you submit an event to appear online, it will also be available for us in our print publication. But now you can simply enter your event and provide an email address, rather than creating a separate account and registering. Our new listings tool is still a work in progress, so we appreciate your patience as we fine-tune it. Please contact us at hsvokos@dfw.com if you have any questions or concerns.