Acting and style make ‘Looper’ a thrill, despite some logic gaps

Contributed
Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in ‘Looper.’ Rated R, 118 min. TriStar Pictures, 2012.

With “Looper,” writer-director Rian Johnson takes the leap from oddball indie film to a major Hollywood production with big-name stars and lofty ambitions. Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a hired killer who dispatches victims sent from the future by the mob. But when one of his intended targets is his older self (Bruce Willis), things get very, very complicated.

The inventive time-travel story sets up lots of action and brain-busting science-fiction debates, but it also proves to be the plot’s undoing. One step back to unravel the logical effects and implications of the characters’ time-traveling and changing the future, and not much of it makes any satisfying sense.

All theoretical time-trickery gaps aside, “Looper” is still wildly entertaining, with style to spare. The future is a dystopian nightmare, but everybody looks effortlessly cool. Even the soundtrack conveys a sleek moodiness. Gordon-Levitt connects, despite acting behind unsettling Willis-like facial prosthetics. Emily Blunt and Paul Dano have strong supporting roles, as does Pierce Gagnon – the best and creepiest child actor this side of a horror movie.

The explosive twist ending is tough to take, but the whole package is a worthy experience that will get you thinking.

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