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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

August 18, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Accent

Review: ‘Looper’ stuns with intriguing plot

A crime-ruled, desolate wasteland is how the film “Looper” portrays the year 2044. Working for the mob underworld, the job of a Looper is to eliminate those sent back from the future by time travel. “Looper” is a fresh and innovative sci-fi fantasy idea brought to life from the mind of writer-director Rian Johnson.

Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a Looper living the high life in a dystopian world until he is sent a man (Bruce Willis) to kill, who turns out to be himself from the future. Together, the two must figure out how to stay alive and out of sight of Abe (Jeff Daniels) who runs the mob,  which serves as the authority in the year 2044.

“Looper” offers many dazzling special effects, such as a dramatic violent telekinesis shot in slow-motion, as well as a strong, original narrative. Johnson shifts the story between past, present and future, challenging the audience with its strategic and fast-paced storytelling. Gordon-Levitt is unrecognizable on-screen, covered in prosthetics and makeup to make him look like a younger version of Willis. He delivers a charismatic performance, filled with undeniable arrogance and hidden anguish.

“Looper” delves deep  into its characters’ emotions and inner demons, while bringing the story’s themes of love, loss and self-sacrifice to life. Though Johnson borrows from a number of renowned sci-fi classics such as “The Terminator” and “Blade Runner,” his story engages not just the mind but the heart as well.

As the plot twists and turns, Johnson balances high-energy adrenaline with an original story, resulting in one of the most satisfying payoffs of the year. With assured direction, brilliant performances and a thrilling premise, “Looper” is one of the best films of the fall.

Overall rating: 3 ½ stars

“Looper” is about a man who has to kill someone from the future who turns out to be himself, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis.