Director Rian Johnson is a curious case. Having knocked everyone’s socks off with his 2005 debut Brick, the follow-up The Brothers Bloom floundered and performed poorly at the box office. In the four years since its release, he has passed the time behind the camera on some episodes of AMC’s “Breaking Bad”, but the main challenge has been to secure financing and get through production on his latest effort, the time-travel action film Looper.
The film is set in 2042 and tells the story of a “looper” (contract killer who kills people sent back in time by the mob) who runs into trouble when he recognises an older version of himself as his latest prospective victim. Killing the future version of yourself is called “closing the loop” and is basically the equivalent of a retirement carriage clock leaving you free to blow the pension on hookers and amphetamines – until that fateful day thirty years from now when you will get sent back to be killed by yourself… It sounds high-concept but it’s actually remarkably simple and Johnson’s script quickly sets out (and sticks to) the rules for the wee bit of time-travelling which is used to set up the story.
At long last we get a movie about cycling! And it’s set in lovely New York! And it’s got trendy hipsters! Who work as thrill-seeking bike couriers! They don’t have brakes because they ride fixies! They might die! Yay!
As sometimes happens, the two of us had differing opinions on something, in this instance the final part of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Rather than argue about who gets to publish their review over email (it has happened before!), we will just post the two reviews.
We’d put them side by side if layout constraints didn’t exist but as Nigel’s name comes first alphabetically (?!), his kicks things off and looks mainly at the pros while Páraic’s deals with some more of the cons of the summer’s biggest film. The combined Spooool score is ★★★½.
While we’ve both done our best to ensure there are no major spoilers in either review, you may still be better served to go and see the film before we go on…
Review #1 – Nigel’s take
The “c” word. No not that one. The BIG C…
Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Adam, a public radio producer who is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. His chances of survival? The clue is in the title – a sketchy “50/50″. Seth Rogen takes on the role of Kyle, his friend and main support system through the treatment. Bryce Dallas-Howard continues the bitchy schtick she perfected in The Help as Adam’s girlfriend, Anna Kendrick is the straight-of-college therapist and Anjelica Huston plays the mother who is kept firmly at arms length. Read More