I mean, it was ok. I love that guy from Third Rock (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), and Bruce Willis makes everything better.
Uhm, yeah, please excuse me while I deviate from Looper for a brief moment to wax (categorically?) on categorizing actors. For me, some actors (we’ll just deal with the male ones this time) are awesome because of how well they play certain roles: Harrison Ford for – ohgodsomany- Han Solo, Indiana Jones, Rick Deckard, Dr. Richard Kimble; Sean Connery for James Bond (I liked him elsewhere, but I’m trying not to make this list longer that the actual blog topic), Colin Firth for Mr. Darcy (I’ve heard he was amazeballs in the King’s Speech, but I haven’t seen it yet), Patrick Stewart (seriously, can’t list the roles anymore), Johnny Depp, Ian McKellen, others, ha bla bla. But, these guys played the role well. I think, particularly with Harrison Ford and maybe Sean Connery as well, there were a lot of similarities between the roles, but I’m going to argue that the specific characters still stand on their own.
Then there are character dudes – guys who play a single character in every film to great (or not) success. Like Robyn Williams (ok, he did a couple creepster movies, but those aside). Tommy Lee Jones. Tom Cruise. Keanu Reeves. Bruce Willis is one of these guys. I love his character type; he does it to perfection, and I am never left thinking that the movie would have been better off without him.
Anyway, Looper is like Terminator with time travel – oh.wait. Looper is like Terminator with a kid who has to save the planet – ohwait. Looper is like Terminator with a mom desperate to save her kid –ohwait. Looper is like Terminator with a relentless dude who will stop at nothing to do things in the only way he can see them as right –ohwait.
Looper is like Terminator with the ending that should have happened at the end of the first Terminator movie. I say this having thoroughly enjoyed all the Terminator things –including that tv series.
I think the movie was going for the steampunk (I guess we could argue what country’s style from the Industrial Revolution time period really gets precedence in this particular category, because I kinda thought it was France, but whatever) genre for its setting. Which is so fucking cool. I loved the blunderbuss (who doesn’t love a blunderbuss?) and the solar panels and the credit card see through cell phones and the western with a modern twist clothing and the rusted, run down, but still not-invented-yet, casual tech that spotted the backgrounds for many scenes. The costumes and props and the interplay of new tech with old westernish type styles were brilliant…..until Bruce Willis grabs two P90s and starts blowing things away. I can’t say I blame him; they hired his character, and to expect an apple to taste like salmon would be weird unless you knew that apple had sat in a tank full of live salmon for a few days…but I digress.
Also, what did they do to JG-L’s face. I didn’t even realize that the function of the upper lip was to mimic Bruce Willis’ until I got home and looked up pictures of JG-L in the movie, and saw one shot that made him almost resemble Willis. One shot. I thought the point was to make him seem more hardened and less boyish. The two actors looked so drastically different to me during the movie, that I didn’t second guess my conclusion that they picked Bruce Willis for the role because it’s Bruce fucking Willis, and JG-L because he nailed the part, and to hell with the older-self-issue. That upper lip thing was stiff and awkward and just didn’t eventually go away as a weirdness for pretty much the entire movie. To the point where, when he kissed whooseywhatsits, I wondered if maybe whatever was shaping it inside his mouth would fall out if he tried to slip her a little tongue.
But hey – no one fell for anyone in the typical action-movie fashion. Wait, Terminator? Yeah. But not really; it was kinda nice. I wasn’t even left wondering if it would happen; it just kinda became a non-issue. Which made it easier to focus on other things, like ok, I get that we can’t address the mindfuck that is time travel (I think that may be an actual quote from the movie-including the ‘we won’t be addressing this’ portion), but wait, why, again? Because, how did that over-loop (ahaha see what I did there?) with him not killing then killing then not killing his future self work? Did it happen? Didn’t it? How do the loops stay cohesively independent of each other, if everything in time is affected by time? Shouldn’t someone be realizing their love for the dude getting beat up and still looking hot at the same time? Sometimes distractions are needed. Either way, the portions that did not involve time directly (apparently that was supposed to be the entire movie, go figure) still weren’t cleanly articulated. The ending in particular (I’ll not describe it; there are a lot of spoilers here, but I’d still feel badly about blowing the ending): (haha just kidding: SPOILED:) I mean, what, there wasn’t a way to make him actually be the kid? Or at least have it be deliberately fuzzy enough so that there was that option? If they were going for the more poetic, altruistic, break-the-loop-for-the-sake-of-uber-cute-kid-ness, they couldn’t bring it home with some clever camera work, a well placed desperate glance or seven, and the determined chin thrusting? They had to just tell you, narrative style, that that’s what was happening? It was a good ending idea, but it just didn’t land. Splerp.
Whatever, it was ok. I like sci-fi/fantasty stuff enough for it to have been ok. I feel a little sad that my favorite part was the preview for Les Miserable, which doesn’t even get here till Chirstmas.