October, 2012, Thriller

Directed by:Rian Johnson

  Writer/director Rian Johnson burst on the Hollywood scene 7 years ago with Brick, a modest thriller starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a teenage detective who delves into a high school crime ring to discover those behind the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend. That film not only marked the arrival of a young filmmaker with an abundance of talent; it also provided its lead with his first starring role, following more than a decade of T.V. work and his astounding performance in Mysterious Skin the year before. Levitt’s gone on to become one of the finest actors of his generation, while Johnson has primarily contented himself with work in television until the two of them reunited for this sci-fi thriller about criminals from the future who are dispatched to the present so that assassins (called “loopers”) can dispose of them and thus eliminate future crimes before they happen. Gordon-Levitt plays Joe, one such assassin, who’s called upon to kill a regurgitated thug from 30 years hence named Old Joe who just turns out to be himself…as played by Bruce Willis. All this develops in the movie’s first reel - - with the remainder of the film’s running time devoted to whether Joe will have to kill himself. He does so, but only after two excruciating hours of mindless violence, repetitive vulgarities and confusing subplots all seasoned with an air of venality that may make you feel slimy as you leave the theater…</p>

 This intriguing storyline might have been an amusing opportunity to play with any number of interesting themes, but Johnson’s screenplay peoples this trash with caricatures even gifted actors such as Emily Blunt, Jeff Daniels & Gordon-Levitt can’t bring to life. Burdened with relatively cheesy sets and special effects for this genre, the director has churned out a piece of moderately priced cinematic trash.

 The Verdict? Despite the generally favorable reviews, don’t bother.



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