Swanner: Time travel has always been a favorite storyline in sci-fi films. Sometimes it works really well like with last year’s Source Code and sometimes so very wrong like 2005’s The Sound of Thunder. Looper does it right with some pretty cool results. Joseph Gordon Levitt plays a Looper, an assassin in his present days who kills bad guys from the future. One day he’s asked to kill his future self and things go terrible wrong. Bruce Willis plays Levitt 30 years in the future and what you get is a whole lot of fun.
Judd: Before you distort reality and rewrite history, let me set the record straight that Source Code was a piece of shit and Sound of Thunder was brilliantly awful. Let the record also show that I hate sci-fi and fantasy, particularly time travel movies. That being said, I really enjoyed Looper. I felt that it was very well done, well written and directed. It collapsed upon itself during the ending, but that’s a problem with the genre, not this particular movie. In fact, as a time travel movie, Looper is probably one of the smartest and well thought out movies of the genre.
Swanner: I agree it was very smart, but Source Code was really good. You’re genre-phobic so what do you know? Moving on, there was a scene near the end that nearly slammed the brakes on the film but once it was past the film was back up to speed with a big twist revealed. That one thing i have to give this film, it surprised me. Most films give all or most away in the trailer but not so here. There was one surprise after another. Director/writer Rian Johnson (Brick) held all the reins and it worked.
Judd: The problem you mention, which I think we can call “the sex scene” without giving anything away, brought the movie to a grinding halt and, at the time, made me seriously reconsider how I had rated the movie up until that point. The problem I had is the logical hole the end created, but that’s the ultimate problem with all time travel movies. I do want to mention, though, that beyond the story the performances were all excellent with Levitt’s makeup almost becoming a character itself.
Swanner: Good point. I’m not even sure how they did it. The guy responsible for Levitt’s prosthetics is Jamie Kelman, he did for Levitt what the make-up team from Iron Lady did for Meryl Streep. They created a different person…amazing. I liked this movie a lot. It never got boring (outside of that one two minute scene) and it kept surprising me. I was really glad it ended the way it did. It’s pretty cool when you can make a Hollywood movie and not give them a Hollywood ending. Mad props go out to the guy who said “No, this is the way it ends.”
Judd: “Mad props?” Oh geeze… Well, I thought the movie was the cat’s pajamas, even if it was a sci fi time travel movie. I liked that all the characters were fleshed out and that there was meaning to all the scenes, except the sex scene. The ending was appropriate and while I wouldn’t say that the movie is overly cerebral, it does leave the audience thinking and talking about what happened as they leave the theatre. Looper deservedly kicks off the fall blockbusters.