This sci-fi and action story of time travel, identity and saving the world is glorious. The director Rian Johnson shoots a beautiful yet deadly tale filled with lens glares, wide shots and beneficial CGI. When a looper has to kill off bagged victims and the moment comes that he faces himself from the future you know you have a premise for greatness.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is great, even under the prosthetic nose to make him seem more like Bruce Willis – who is great here too; another one of his finer films, if only he did more intelligent movies like this and less of the Die Hard franchise. When the time comes for their paths to cross and share a scene together it’s tense and funny too. The diner is their backdrop for angst and macho bravado against each other, even more interesting as they are the same person.
The story is intricate in places, it’s a film that’s worth multiple watches as you see more and like more. It’s touching and dark, clever and thrilling. Some of the camera shots are awesome; in particular where a camera tilts and falls alongside Levitt as he topples from a window. Sheer filmmaking brilliance aided in not unnecessary doses of CGI, from floating quarters to levitating humans it all adds to the storytelling and helps throw you into the film. One other set piece that uses CGI but to good effect comes with a chilling idea of what happens to your future version when something happens to present you, the mutilation is worrying and sets up another neat notch to this time travel story.
Another highlight of the film is the presence of a child actor who is just downright creepy, sure he has a sweet innocent side but when his crazy comes out, all hell breaks loose and you best try and look away from his brilliantly acted deranged shouty face.
All in all this film is a huge step in the right direction for dazzling and smart films using sci-fi and action as its base genre. You are taken on a ride and the payoff is hugely worth it, a neat ending and an even neater story that throws down a gauntlet in how great films of this category should be done.