Intriguing time-travel thriller

STU PIDDINGTON
Last updated 05:00 06/10/2012
Looper

SELF-DESTRUCT: Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt face off, as the same man.

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LOOPER

Directed by Rian Johnson
118 mins

Sci-fi usually isn't my gig but Looper is a fresh, clever thriller about what is, in effect, a 30-year delayed suicide.

In the year 2044 time travel has not yet been invented but in 30 years it will be. Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) works as a looper, an assassin who eliminates targets sent back in time by a criminal gang. The thing is he knows it will eventually happen to him, so he has to have some fun in the meantime.

Loopers are sent their targets hogtied and blindfolded back from the future and their job is to simply shoot them and dispose of the body.

So the target vanishes from the future and the Loopers dispose of a corpse that doesn't technically exist, a very clean system (therefore closing the loop).

The only rule for loopers is never to let your target escape - even if that target happens to be yourself returning from the future. It's only when his older self (Bruce Willis) escapes assassination and comes back in time that the system is undone.

Joe senior has seen the future, likes it and doesn't want to give it up. Joe junior also knows what happens if you let someone go and needs to track him down and finish the job.

Both lead actors are great, and even when the story introduces prairie mum (Emily Blunt) and her mysteriously gifted son, it keeps the momentum.

A good movie, with a great finish but not for the faint-hearted.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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