Dir: Rian Johnson
So much time-travel in one week!
In the future, 2074, murder is very tricky, people are better tracked and monitored, so criminals have a hard job ‘disposing’ of them. However, time travel has been invented, and it’s easier to kidnap the person you want rid of, then send them back in time to 2044 where a hitman will quickly deal with the messy job and destroy the corpse unnoticed.
These hitmen are called ‘Loopers’ due to the fact that eventually they will be sent back themselves, who they will ‘retire’ then retire.
Got it? If not, don’t bother watching this film because you won’t get past the first 5 minutes!
As with any film about hitmen there’s a fair bit of rough action, as you also might expect from something starring Bruce Willis in a lead role, he even goes extremely John McClane at one point. The thing that sets this film apart from just any other action movie is its brains, thanks to writer and director Rian Johnson.
Johnson made a name for himself in 2005 with ‘Brick’ a very nicely stylish and modern ‘neo-noir’, also starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Raymond Borde and Etienne Chaumeton wrote a seminal study of film noir in 1955, in which they identified many common noir characteristics which are often used to distinguish film noir movies, and though it was very obvious that ‘Brick’ neatly fit into that genre, on less than an hours reflection, it amazed me how much of ‘Looper’ does too.
Though this is far from being the first science fiction noir film, they are a rare wonder, and good ones are even more scarce. ‘Looper’ is full of sci-fi and noir themes, it may be quite fun to watch with that in mind, and see where you can spot things such as:
- Moral Ambiguity
- Convoluted story line with editing that disrupts the narrative structure
- Flawed heroes
- Bleak conclusions
Critics were excited that Rian Johnson had moved on from noir filmmaking to trying something new, but I’m not so sure he has!