A collective sigh of relief is sounded by a whole universe of film fans upon watching the new film by Rian Johnson, Looper.
Finally a film that gets it right, a great idea, a fully realised script and perfectly executed and directed final product. There a more interesting and original ideas spilling out of the crevices of the film than the handful of other action blockbusters released in our theatres this year. This includes The Dark Knight Rises, Prometheus and whatever else people paid money to see. This one is actually worth the ticket price and I may pay to see it again on the big screen.
The plot is great, full of twists and turns and unexpected elements so I won’t ruin any of that here. Don’t watch the trailer if you already haven’t, it’s best to see this film with an as limited as possible knowledge of what is going to happen. In saying that, the film is not entirely original, there are some elements lifted from other science fiction films we all love, the usual suspects such as Blade Runner or time travel classics like Back to the Future. Bruce Willis’ other time travel classic Twelve Monkeys may even get a nod here or there. But it’s not as if time travel cinema has really had the largest cannon of classic films worthy of cult appreciation so it’s great to add another one to the list.
What really struck me about the film was how good it’s design was. As a vision of a not so far away future, it seemed not implausible. Set thirty years away, we still see cars that look like they probably run on fuel and people living in dirty streets not so dissimilar to the current state of our supercities. This seems like a fair enough approximation of what the future might hold. We’ve gotten past the 1980s vision of the future of a world of flying cars and great technological advancements, a lot of these advancements are in our world now and it seems safe to assume that the rate of progress will slow down. The film did have some advancements, hovering motorcycles for example, which kept things exciting from an action point of view.
The future depicted in Looper is not an entirely pleasant one. It’s dirty, full of junkies, decadent living and rampant crime. It seems to hard to envision a future that won’t end up such as this. Except the film did not present a future such as this as one to fear. More it presented it as one to accept. Even with the crime and crooked morality, there was still a hope, a humankind of stubborn perseverance beneath the corrupt and devastated surface. We see this through the regular people, the diner waitress Beatrix, the mother trying to raise her damaged Son on a country farmhouse, these characters provide balance to the junkies, hired killers and professional criminals that elsewhere litter the film. It’s just one creative’s vision of the future but I certainly bought it, one that was able to portray the future with equal pessimistic and optimistic attitudes.
Oh yeah and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is really good, but probably if you’re gonna see this film or have seen it, he was big reason for the films initial appeal.
I don’t want to discuss too much of the specifics of the film because it will ruin the ride. But I can say that I’m totally impressed by how well realised the writer/directors vision was.