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Looper - Film Review

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by Richard Leathem (subscribe)
Freelance writer. Melbourne based cinephile. Fond of food.
Event: -
Time travel pics never fail to boggle the mind, and Looper is up there with the trippiest of them. Looper's added appeal is it has a sense of playfulness while ruminating on how a person's actions in the present affect their future.

Set in the year 2044 "when time travel hasn't been invented yet, but will be in the future", Looper's tale of someone from the future being sent back to alter history, at first resembles The Terminator, with the four main characters from the 1984 classic each having their own counterparts here. Fortunately writer/director Rian Johnson has a few original ideas that cause the narrative to launch into unexpected directions.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is getting a pretty good hit ratio happening, with Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, 50/50 and 500 Days of Summer recently behind him. I found his face make-up here a bit disconcerting at first, but once Bruce Willis enters the frame, it actually adds a sense of fun seeing the physical resemblance between them. Another niggling source of annoyance at the beginning was the unnecessary voice-over, but thankfully this was used less and less as the story kicked in.

The premise itself at first seems so illogical in that the conflict that occurs is so inevitable, you wonder how none of the characters ever considered it happening. Nevertheless, the film fires along at such a rapid pace, that it's easy to put such quibbles to one side and just enjoy the entertainment. As the protagonists become more fleshed out, and the consequences of their actions become more complex, the film takes on more dramatic weight, culminating in an emotionally satisfying ending.

It's good to see the success of Inception has afforded filmmakers the chance to produce brainy, ambitious action films. More please.

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Why? A brainy, twisty, time travel tale
When: Out now
Where: At cinemas everywhere
Cost: Regular ticket prices
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