Whenever someone tells me a movie is about time travel, I always think of “Back To The Future” with a teenage Michael J. Fox running around, trying not to run into himself in fear of screwing up the future. Well…that is the premise to this excellent sci-fi movie except that Marty McFly is an assassin and his job is to kill for a mob syndicate that is sending victims back into the past to be exterminated. The role of the killer is played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt who, at this point, seems to be the go-to guy in Hollywood right now. With his appearance in “Inception” and “”The Dark Knight Rises,” Gordon-Levitt is becoming this generation’s Tom Cruise and I mean that very much as a compliment.
In this role, he plays a young Joe, a paid assassin called a Looper, who waits patiently for the captured hit to appear via time travel and then kills them with a deadly gun shot. Except one day, the “hit” is himself, only 30 years older. The older Joe (Bruce Willis) escapes and it’s a cat & mouse game from there as the older Joe goes on the hunt for a young boy that will eventually grow up to be a crime kingpin named The Rainmaker. His idea is to kill the boy, setting in motion the new future that will allow him to remain with his wife and keep the peace in his city. Unfortunately, his younger self is protecting the child and his mother (the great Emily Blunt) and will stop at nothing to keep them alive.
At just under 2 hours, this movie could have been a mess. Interweaving 2 different storylines, bouncing from the past to the future, it had the potential to be disastrous. But director Rian Johnson, who has director nothing I’ve ever seen, does a remarkable job and keeps it engrossing the entire film length. I was especially pleased with the way the movie was broken into sections, first introducing Joe, then proceeding to the self assassination and then to the Rainmaker storyline. It flows pretty nicely altogether and there isn’t a stop in the action. As a matter of fact, the premise behind the Rainmaker makes it even more interesting because you don’t know how that story is going to end.
Needless to say, I loved this movie. All of the actors are fantastic, especially Gordon-Levitt, who wears a prosthetic chin to give himself the look of a young Bruce Willis. Emily Blunt is excellent as usual and Jeff Daniels as the mobster, Abe, also does a fantastic job. I would highly recommend seeing this movie in the theaters before it gets overrun by bad Halloween scare flicks!
Overall Rating: A