Rian Johnson fans have been anxiously awaiting "Looper" for a long time, and the first full-length trailer for the film, which stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt, does not disappoint in the least.
The trailer does a great job of laying out what is a potentially confusing plot: JGL is a "looper," a mob hit man who specializes in killing people sent back from the future via time machine. It goes without saying that as a looper, it is imperative that you never let your prey escape. But when Gordon-Levitt realizes one of his targets is his future self, played by Brice Willis, he pauses just a moment too long.
The art direction's got a whiff of "Blade Runner" mixed with "Swingers", without borrowing so much from either as to feel derivative, and the action looks great. But we do have some random thoughts and questions:
- Gordon-Levitt is wearing a lot of prosthetics in an effort to look more like a younger version of Willis, and his voice in the narration sounds more like co-star Paul Dano's than his own. This wouldn't bother us except, we worry this role might not do anything to boost his bankability, and thereby get him more and better work. He's about as talented as any of his peers in Hollywood, and has integrity for days, but not enough people know who he is, dammit.
- Those three guys we see wrestling a man into a sack look a lot like Hasidic Jews, with their wide-brimmed black hats and the long black coats. Maybe it's a just a general look, we'll see.
- The problem we have with time-travel movies is that if time travel has been invented in 2070, than it should exist forever. If it's cheap and easy enough for a crime syndicate to use, surely someone would've gone back to early days to live like a king, no?
- And if you're a mobster with a time machine who's been betrayed or disrespected, and you want someone whacked, wouldn't it make more sense to send yourself back in time to the moment before the transgression and shoot the person then? If you just send them back in time to be killed, you haven't really solved anything, have you?
Gordon-Levitt starred in Johnson's first film, "Brick," a noir-ish murder mystery set in a modern-day high school, with JGL as a Sam Spade-esque teen trying to get to the bottom of things. It was a gritty whodunit with '40s-era dialog that would've made Dashiell Hammett proud, but featured kids and was bathed in California sun. It's an inspired and totally original piece of moviemaking. This newest collaboration promises more of the same.
"Looper" opens Sept. 28.