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Short Review:

Fantastic acting, well directed, good cinematography. Warning, some disturbing themes including torture and murder of children (neither are shown). Also, some brief nudity and the plot will make your head spin.

Long Review:

Rian Johnson’s story is one that we all should pay attention to. He wrote a screenplay called “Brick” and sent it into several movie studios way back in 2003 (or there about). Years later, in 2005, the script hit the right desk and it got greenlit as a low budget, but critically acclaimed film noir movie starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and that pregnant chick from Lost. It’s one of my favorites and I’m not sure why I don’t own it yet (probably will soon).

Brick/Looper is a similar story to Memento/Batman.  Christopher Nolen made the low budget Memento and wowed people in the movie biz by the creativity and good writing, but because it wasn’t a big budget blockbuster, few people saw it. However, because Memento was so good, when Batman was pitched, big names signed on to be in the movie and Christopher Nolen was given a larger budget.

Rian Johnston’s Brick and Looper have a similar story. Almost no one has seen Brick (I keep telling my friends to see it, they keep telling me they will). Jonathan Gordon-Levitt signed on for Looper, not only because he knew Johnston could do a good job, but he starred as the high-school “detective” in Brick. Bruce Willis most likely saw it and agreed to co-star in the much larger budget project, and, if you’ve seen the previews, it looks like they’ve hired some top notch visual effects and cinematographers for this film.

Plot:
Pretty dang morbid. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Joe, a hitman called a Looper. The movie explains that a looper is a particular type of hitman that kills people sent back from the future. (this is to avoid someone finding the body in the future). Time travel is extremely illegal (in the future...) and therefore, when the services of the Looper is no longer needed, they are sent back in time for their past selves to kill: “This is called, ‘Closing the Loop.’” Joe doesn’t have much a life to speak of. He spends most of his money he makes as a Looper on drugs, booze and women. But life gets more complicated when Joe is sent his future self to kill...and he gets away.

Writing the short synopsis of this movie gave me that little butterfly in the stomach that tells me I’m psyched about seeing it again. After watching it, I wasn’t quite sure if I liked it...but now I realize I do...a lot.

I can’t say it’s perfect, time travel movies never are. (The only one I thought was darn near perfect was 12 Monkeys), but here’s some advice...it’s a movie, just watch the good acting, character development, cinematography, script, etc... and ignore the small, and perhaps some very large plot holes.

See it in the theater? Well, that depends. I did like it, but I don’t think it was Rian Johnston’s best. Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are both very good in it (both do serious with subtle humor well). But keep in mind my warning, there are some intense, disturbing themes. Action and good storytelling work well, I’m excited to see more of Johnston’s work.

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