Grade: A Release date: Sept. 28, 2012 Running time: 118 min MPAA rating: R
Grade: A
Release date: Sept. 28, 2012
Running time: 118 min
MPAA rating: R


When you first see Joseph Gordon-Levitt in “Looper,” you’ll probably be distracted by the ridiculous amount of makeup he’s wearing. That part won’t get better. But the movie itself is worth watching. 

Gordon-Levitt plays Joe, a well-paid assassin for the mob- the future mob. He drives fast cars and dresses in the latest fashions. He’s addicted to some kind of party drug the movie never specifies. Every day, he goes to a field to kill someone for the mob.

He stands ready with his weapon until a person from the future appears. He kills him, collects his pay from his body, and reports back to his mob boss. But a future mob boss decides to “close the loops” of all “Loopers,” which means Gordon-Levitt is sent to kill the future version of himself.

Joe seems perfectly fine closing his loop. He’s ready to take his pension and move to some exotic country until the future mob comes to get him.  But future Joe (played by Bruce Willis) has more to live for. He gets away. So Gordon-Levitt is left reeling from withdrawals while running from both the mob and his future self.

The makeup, by the way, is all to make the actor look more like his future counterpart, Bruce Willis. It does make Gordon-Levitt resemble Willis a little. His brows are always furrowed in that classic Bruce Willis kind of way and his upper lip is almost invisible.

But “Looper” is incredibly complicated. It’s about time travel. People are jumping back and forth through time and riding bikes that fly. The last thing moviegoers are going to question is whether Bruce Willis really looks like Gordon-Levitt. The film should have spent more time focusing on the more complicated aspects of the plot instead of working so hard to make the two characters resemble each other.

We’ve all seen Bruce Willis play a tough guy before, so his character wasn’t hard to believe. But Gordon-Levitt also plays a hit man surprisingly well. He’s cold and uncaring about most of the outside world. His mother, a vagrant drug addict, gave him up when he was very young. So the mob took advantage of the desperate child, turning him into the youngest assassin they had ever hired. His mob boss jokes with him about how Gordon-Levitt’s weapon was bigger than he was when he started his work. The corruption of innocence is a huge theme in “Looper.” Gordon-Levitt shows it well. He acts tough but you can see a glimmer of vulnerability in his glances at times.

The acting in the film truly makes “Looper” remarkable.  Gordon-Levitt is able to pull off playing a character with unending layers of personality and he manages to portray every aspect of that. Willis brings in even more layers as we see how his addictions and personality flaws affect him in the future. It’s natural to wonder what happens to the main character of a movie in the future, and in “Looper,” you actually get to see it all. This science fiction action film is worth the two hours.