Thoughts: Looper was made by Rian Johnson, one of my favourite directors, so my opinion was biased before I stepped foot in the cinema. That said, Looper was still a fantastic film, dripping with style and oozing with sci-fi fantastic. Some may balk at Jo-Go's lavish Willis make-up, but I liked it. And I also liked the story, the characters, the ideas, the direction and most definitely the music.
The story concerns a Looper by the name of Joe. To confirm, a Looper is someone who is hired to kill mob hits sent from a time-travel enabled future. When their contract is up in the future, to finish off their "Loop", their future-self is sent back to themselves to be "closed". Their life then continues. Joe happens to mess up killing his future self. So the fun begins. The story also concerns a moral quandary involving that whole "would you kill a future monster as a child, to stop him from becoming evil?", and that takes up the second half of the film.
Despite their being the usual brain-bending paradoxes, I praise Looper for giving it all its got. I have my own personal issues with the logic, but frankly, we're dealing with time-travel here, so I give it a break. The film itself is magnificent, from a technical standpoint. Rian Johnson always knew how to create something with nothing, and here he is given a much larger sandbox to play in. And yet, the film retains this kind of "lo-fi" aesthetic, managing to look grimy and broken, but futuristic all the same. The music matches this perfectly, and becomes so integral to the proceedings that I would have to say more than ever, that the film would have suffered greatly with a different audio accompaniment. It is industrial, and symphonic, and plain perfect for all the goings on.
The actors bring it. Jo-Go pulls off Willis commendably, breaking out all the affectations he can. Willis plays a slightly different role than he has before, if you look closely you can see the differences. He is a man who is running out of time fast, and doesn't really know how to handle it other than by putting on a strong face. All the secondary players do great work, but I gotta give extra special props to the kid in the second half. Seriously, I usually hate kids in all films, but this kid was so well written and played, that I immediately took a shine to him. In fact, he was so natural, acting so well, that you realize he's acting but he's not acting. No breaks in concentration, no fourth wall flutters. Straight professionalism. I can't wait to see the behind-the-scenes on him.
But the movie itself, goddamn. I love me Rian Johnson's eye and dialogue. He knows where to put the camera, when, and how to set up a scene. He approaches each idea with a workmanlike attitude, and each line as truth. In particular, I loved the scene where Old Joe and Young Joe meet up with one another at a diner, and just like anyone would in real life, Old Joe proceeds to continually reprimand his younger self for being an idiot in the future. "What are doing, look at yourself. You're a fucking idiot, you know that?" Classic. Plus the numerous action sequences, and the look and feel of a city on the brink of collapse. Wonderfully handled and executed.
Altogether, very worthwhile. I do wonder how well it'll hold up in future viewings, but for now, all thumbs up.