Looper. Directed by: Rian Johnson
(and anybody spell his name thataway alert you immediately to be on guard and I
don't care if Mom did give it to you, you coulda fixed it soon as you
became an adult and realized what it said about you for six generations
back). Starring: Bruce Willis (and Bruce Willis, actually,
as Bruce Willis but not, if you catch my drift, the actual Bruce Willis);
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (same same); Emily Blunt; Paul Dano; Jeff Daniels.
Aw, man. I couldn't make squat out of Inception. Nor
doodle from The Adjustment Bureau. Nor bupkis out of Immortality.
Nor nada on Shutter Island. And what the hell was Minority
Report all about? Can't ever seem to figure out these Back-to-the-Future
things (or why box-office idols lend themselves to this kind of dreck since the
odds are so mortifyingly against you...not to mention against us poor schlubs
who fork over ten bucks to watch them). I got four-count-'em-four college
degrees, for Pete's sake. What the silly hell can Joe Lunchbox be
deciphering from this gibberish? It's as though Donald Duck wrote Being and
Nothingness (which Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski has on his
nightstand, by the bye... I rest my case) , then some fee-male graduate student
turnt in a doctoral dissertation on it. I topped out with Doc Brown and
Marty my own self. Lessee... when the photograph fades, it means you
never existed except you did until you went back and changed a cat-whisker some
prior event so even though it was you who changed it, still there is (yet
perhaps never was) a you but possibly not the same you as the you that is (or
was) you and there's why you get all those Boston Proper catalogues in
the mail addressed to "Resident." Want me go over that again
real slow? My head hurts.
The primary draw for this lunker of a flick is that they
made the Gordon-Levitt kid up to look like Bruce Willis as a young man though
we have movies made by Bruce Willis as an actual young man to which this
rejiggered ac-toor bears virtually no resemblance. Go figure.
Gordon-Levitt is great, by the way, a capable screen presence though mostly from
comedy, perhaps encouraged by the warm reception he's had for films like Ten
Things I Hate About You (excellent) and Fifty-Fifty (solid) and 500
Days of Summer (well, if you like that kind of thing... and are a
fee-male woman of the feminine persuasion... and lonely... and beautiful... and
crazy, in case anyone's encountered that particular communion of attributes,
like at the prom, say...) to embark upon an unhappy venture into over-seriosity
or chivvied by an over-aggressive agent to demonstrate his ac-toorship. Don't
misread me: He does a creditable job here. Only question is why?
Well, pack for a trip to Dystopia... again. At least
they're not all wearing leather suits, though that Blunt girl might do justice
to one. It's years from now (2040-something) though a tenuous
thoroughfare connects this time with that, later, in which time travel is (or
has been... or not) invented and then outlawed so that only outlaws can time
travel (or not). Actually it's not outlaws who time travel but the victims of
outlaws, strapped into a sort of canvas L.L. Bean field coat stuffed with
silver (or gold... the difference is significant) and launched back onto a
Twister (tm) mat where they're promptly assassinated by one of a horde of
"loopers," professional assassins from the past of the future who
deliver past services to future mobsters by deleting the future from the past.
Got it? Bad news is that eventually the looper becomes compromised and
has in fact to be assassinated from the future but in the present ("closing
the loop," as it's called, hence the eponomynomic). Alert comes in
the form of a golden shower, so to speak, instead of silver stuffed into the
travel garment of the target. If I have it right, that entitles the
looper to thirty years of the good life till his future self be shot back into
the past for a future looper to blow away back then (now). Still with
me? Who wrote this?
Anyhow. Our attention focuses on current Joe, a more
or less capable looper but one afflicted--wordless scenes reveal evident ennui
(French for "eye charged with an inexplicable tear," according to
Baudelaire at any event who invented the stuff, and apt here on account of the
New Way is to drop some sort of narcotic into the eyeball, phenomenon--as a
Bonus Question--prefigured by what cult flick, by the bye?)--with that
againbite of inwit we've heard of and who one day discovers his own self on the
mat next up on the elimination roster. What to do? In former Joe's
second of hesitation the later Joe punches his lights out, then lights out for
his part he, too. We're off. How to catch the intruder into the
past from the future before in the future he can wreak irremediable harm on the
past (or future) but while still safely in the past? How, you may ask, do
we work in the high cheekbones, tight jeans, pouty lips floozy? You may
ask. Answer: Sarah Conner! And that, Grasshopper, tell you all you need
Dunno how incomprehensible came to stand in for heavy.
Perhaps when Oprah became the arbiter of reading. When Wal-Mart opened a book
section. When Hemingway snagged that Nobel. Here's a guy loves
Bruce Willis, who admires Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and who, without having any
particular sentiment toward Emily Blunt, is always in the market for tight
jeans (on fee-males, mostly), but who cannot find in this flick anything to
praise. At the least, wait for video.
Answer to Bonus Question: Harley Davidson and the
Marlboro Man with Mickey Rourke (before the Fall) and Don Johnson (after
Melanie) where street thugs drop "crystal dream" into their eyeballs.