In the not too distant future, where time travel has become possible, a certain corporation removes unwanted people, sending them to the past. The host’s task is to kill the victim, thereby erasing the unfortunate person from history.
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Ryan Johnson is stepping into science fiction territory in his new work, although the veiled surrealism in his latest film is much less than in Brick, which was not fiction. At first, the picture even makes a very deceiving impression, and it seems that the whole basis of the film will revolve around the new concept of Jones’ time paradoxes, and this will be the main feature, although the originality of many elements will remain in question. But in the process, the fantastic surroundings become nothing more than a screen, and the film turns out to be able to offer something incomparably greater.
The beginning of the film is quite formulaic, although filmed with a clear sense of style; since in the demonstration of the world of the future, the creators do not try to show off their impressive visualization, which very often lately millions of dollars are spent completely unjustifiably – for the plot, the rhythm of the narrative itself and the main character are more important. There is no scale in the picture – rather, on the contrary – simplicity and a kind of ‘intimacy’, which allows you to better feel the characters. In the beginning we have one main character – Joe in his youth (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), the script draws the image well, and we see everything as if from his point of view; but then, when ‘Joe from the Future’ (Willis) comes into play – the script dramatically changes the usual pace – and now we have two heroes, and each has its own story, conditioned by life experience and the situation in which they are, and also the goals they have set for themselves. The typical mainstream would go the obvious way here, but Johnson is far more inventive. Do you think that another linear action is waiting for you, about how the heroes united in the face of danger and kicked the ass of all the bad guys? It was not there. Each has its own mission here – and at the same time, the plot will twist all the facts more than once, forcing the viewer to weigh the information and think on whose side he would be. Every time it seems that it has found the main thread, the message and mood that the director is trying to convey – the plot shuffles all the cards again, and again makes you doubt. During this time, meanwhile, the viewer can learn a lot about himself, how he would react to any facts and events – after all, the film is really very bold, and contains very controversial moments that many may not like. Perhaps you will hate one of the heroes for a certain act. But you need to remember about his motives. And here it should be noted how Johnson, as it were, by the way, breaks the usual stereotypes and does not play by the rules, and he does it arrogantly and unceremoniously – but given the ambiguity of the story and the presence of several layers of interesting subtext in it, he easily gets away with it. The film does not forget about the amusing scenes when an ardent youth meets a wise old age, battered by life – and in these episodes there is a sea of ââadequate humor. But, meanwhile, if you think about it – both characters always put their goals first, refusing to make any compromises. It all looks even more paradoxical, considering that this is one and the same person. But people do change over time – and Johnson played enough with this thesis, both in direct (comparing the character of young and old Joe on the screen) and metaphorically (when he made each of them, by his actions, influence the life of the other at the same time) sense.
‘Looper’ is one such movie where the less you know about the plot, the better; no wonder the creators prudently hid its key details in a very vague trailer. It is only worth noting that the sea of ââaction will not be here, but the one that is made really high quality, and most importantly – it is appropriate. As for all these temporal paradoxes – here, again, the emphasis is not on the originality of the concept, the plot only uses it so that people once again think about how time changes their essence, how, and whether there is something that is not subject to … How a person sets their priorities, and what factors influence this. And all this with sincere emotional experiences, which is fully facilitated by excellent acting work. It has been a long time since I saw such a Bruce Willis on the screen, with such a keen gaze. The actor, of course, is almost always good – but here his image is simply exceptional. And Joseph Gordon-Levitt made a worthy pair. Emily Blunt’s efforts were more successful in the comic scenes, and the script provided the right amount of them. In general, everything is in order with humor in the film, and many moments are quite unexpected, when, for example, a heartbreaking drama suddenly gives out satirical sequences in the style of ‘The Expendables-2’, prudently adding the necessary self-irony to the film.
At first, having ‘played’ a fantastic action movie, ‘Looper’ acquires the intrigue of a thriller, and then completely appears as a complex and multi-layered drama, embodied on the screen with the entire palette of real human emotions. And then it goes back to the beginning of this sequence, and scrolls it over and over. As in a loop. While other filmmakers, working in the sci-fi genre, are trying to drive on detailed visualization and high-octane hurricane action – Ryan Johnson sends his heroes ‘into the fields’ in the literal sense of the word, instead of a beautiful picture, focusing on a twisted plot, honest emotional experiences and expanded dialogues. Therefore, it is not surprising that the result is real cinema, honest, bold and deep; unobtrusively trying to help us better understand ourselves.
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (81.6 Mb/s)
Resolution: 4K (2160p)
HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10+
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48.0 kHz, 16 bits)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
English: LPCM 2.0