Skip to main content

Review: Rage Against the Time Machine (Looper)

Film noir has not been a traditionally successful genre in the last twenty years. Then along came Rian Johnson and changed all that. He took the leads who provide the context for the audience, the women who lead them to their fall, and hard times where morally ambivalent men succeed and reformatted it for the 21st century. The man is Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), the year is 2044 and the occupation is looping.

Joe is a cocky young man and he has little time for anything other than making money and planning on getting out of the country. His profession is explained in few words and without dumbing it down.

Loopers are not forward-thinking people, Joe explains. They are contracted to kill people who don't yet exist in this time and collect the precious metals that come with the body. They are rewarded quite handsomely for this task, but it comes with strings: eventually they have to kill themselves. Killing your future self usually goes off without a hitch. Blunderbuss in hand, Joe waits until a masked figure appears in front of him. What happens next is unexpected.

Elder Joe (Bruce Willis at the best he's been in a long time) is ready: he strikes first and leaves everything in chaos. The consequences for the elder Joe running around are almost unfathomable. The consequences for current Joe are even more harsh. Where elder Joe comes from is a horrifying place and he must change the past if his younger self is going to be able to find the same happiness he has.

Willis and Gordon-Levitt sets the tone of the film immediately: there is more at stake than the whims of a wayward twenty-something. Many people will die.

Initially a questionable aspect, Joe's visage seems a little strange, but Levitt picks up every nuance and mannerism of a young Bruce Willis. When the two interact for their first sit down scene, no qualms are had about prosthetics at all. The following collision course that takes place between the two men ranks as one of the most haunting representations of seeing who you are become corrupted right in front of you. The diner scene between 

By attaching himself to original concepts such as this, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has quickly become one of the most interesting leading men in Hollywood, with directors like Rian Johnson guiding him, he has nowhere to go but up.

Much like its lead actor, Looper is destined for higher things. It is fated to become a sci-fi classic.

***1/2 out of ****

Popular posts from this blog

Jack the Giant Slayer Giveaway

Warner Bros. and PartnersHub are teaming up to give one lucky reader will receive a blu-ray prize pack to celebrate the release of Jack the Giant Slayer .   Want to win? Post your results from the How Brave Are You? quiz into the Comments section and leave your email address so I can contact the winner. All entries must be in before June 29th and the winner will be noti fied June 30th.

The Best of the Decade

Over the last ten years, the cinema has given us a great deal to be thankful for: a rebirth of the Batman franchise, a series of examinations of what it means to live in this particular decade, and a mass of character studies whether they be animated or popcorn thrillers. As much as I have enjoyed the offerings, a list must be culled together for the end of the year. Except this year is different, this year ten films must be selected from hundreds. Below are some of the best of the aughts. Enjoy! 10) There Will Be Blood Paul Thomas Anderson's magnum opus, a scathing look at extremism in America and the evils of greed and profiteering from religion. It also features the best performance of the decade with Daniel Day-Lewis as oil-man Daniel Plainview. 9)  Up A beautiful tale that entrances all ages,  Up managed to captivate children and tell a tale that adults cherish as well. 8) The Dark Knight Maybe just a comic book film, but it is the best comic book film

Review: Cymbeline

Cymbeline is director Michael Almereyda’s second Shakespeare adaptation set in modern day, his last being 2000’s Hamlet , also starring Ethan Hawke. The Bard’s late work tragedy, previously set in the Royal Court of Olde England, receives a face-lift, updated to a war between the Roman police force and the Briton Motorcycle Club ran by Cymbeline (Ed Harris). The King trades in a crown for an Uzi and a leather jacket as a drug kingpin troubled by familial strife. His second wife (the serpentine Milla Jovovich) despises Cymbeline’s daughter, Imogen (Dakota Johnson, proving she has acting chops not found in Fifty Shades of Grey ), for not marrying her son, Cloten (Anton Yelchin). In secret, Imogen has pledged herself to Posthumus (Penn Badgley), much to Cymbeline’s displeasure. Posthumus, like all men freshly betrothed, proceeds to make a bet that his friend Iachimo (Hawke) cannot steal his love’s chastity; Hawke is evidently having a ball with the part of a man of very little moral f