Looper (2012)

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Rian Johnson directs Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt in this time travel sci-fi thriller about a hitman who has to kill his older self.

Looper certainly has a lot going for it to mark itself out as a modern classic. Gordon-Levitt pulling a Face/Off and out Bruce Willis-ing Bruce Willis, the ageing star himself in what feels like it might be his last committed performance in a film his fan base might enjoy, the well realised dystopia and logistical thoroughness of the time crimes syndicate, the narrative flourishes (our mad dash through Joe’s intervening years is a masterful stroke) and some solid yet stylish action. But, just as on my virgin trip to see this at the multiplex, this home viewing cannot hide a certain disappointment. We are sold on young Willis hunting an old Willis cat and mouse actioner but the second half delivered instead shifts into something more akin to the western Shane. And while what happens on Emily Blunt’s farmstead is by no means weak, you cannot help but feel the initial premise has been somewhat overlooked, that you’ve been served a dish you did not order as the last 40 minutes play out. All that occurs if far too strong to dismiss but on each viewing I couldn’t help but imagine a Looper where, after the Heat style diner tête-à-tête between opposing generations, the movie returned to that sci-fi crime district we started at and all satisfying hell truly broke loose.

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