Rian Johnson is a filmmaker who first made his mark with the Raymond Chandler in High School noir, Brick, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt before he was hot and wore vests. Johnson followed that up with a little seen, but very much appreciated comic-ish romp called The Brothers Bloom, which featured the heavy hitting talents of Rachel Weisz, Mark Ruffalo, and Adrien Brody. Both movies perfectly captured the tones and gestures of the genres they were going for — hard boiled and whimsical, respectively — while also feeling like completely original and thrilling creations. Well, according to a few fellow movie bloggers who had the opportunity to see an advanced cut of the film, Johnson is about to do a threepeat.
Which brings us to Looper, a science fiction action feature with a time travel conceit that re-teams Johnson with JGL, and co-stars Bruce Willis… as an older version of JGL. The basic premise is that time travel is invented between the years of 2040-2070, but is immediately outlawed due to its dangerousness, so only criminal organizations use it as an effective means of trans-terminal body disposal. Levitt plays Joe, a “Looper” that is in charge of stopping the time loop of those unfortunate souls sent chronologically backward, which apparently boils down to killing them, and then said disposal of their bodies. Eventually, Joe must face his own future in the form of Willis, who would like not die yet, thank you very much. (Hence the big ass gun in the header?) Both man must also elude the Gat Men, who are responsible for Looping the Loopers if they fail to Loop themselves, and one of those men is played by Garret Dilahunt (“Raising Hope”). Both groups are led by Jeff Daniels, and somehow Emily Blunt figures in as a single mother who owns a farm, but Piper Perabo plays Joe’s main squeeze.
Don’t worry, Primer’s director Shane Carruth helped Johnson figure all this out so the timeline(s?) are airtight. The bloggers who have seen Looper (some invited, some not) have nothing but praise for the new movie. They also provided a few plot details that some readers may consider to be mild spoilers, so I won’t quote them here, but feel free to read them on your own accord. Suffice to say, if buzz is to be believed (and sometimes it isn’t), Rian Johnson is poised to have one of the rarest things in Hollywood right now, a quality track record. Comparisons to Moon, and not Source Code, are also a major plus.
I, for one, am now looking more forward to this than possibly even The Dark Knight Rises. Sadly, Looper comes out months later in September of next year. But by the looks of it, JGL is getting a nice run of films, too, perhaps making him the American Fassbender? Of course, what really has me excited about this movie is that Bruce Willis is not sporting a shaved head. Male pattern baldness is a good look for a good character in a good movie.