Looper

September 29, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Posted in 2012 | Leave a comment
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Much has been said about Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s nose (like Nicole Kidman’s in “The Hours”), how distracting it is and whether it makes him look more like Bruce Willis.  Yes- it is distracting and reminds us of the paradox of cinema (ie that we can except familiar faces in various roles– good, evil and otherwise– but we are thrown off by slight tweaks to those same faces; I suppose it is a product of evolution that we can accept aging an actor more easily than changing their profile).  And, I guess, no- the nose doesn’t really make him look that much like Willis, though a scene at a café table reveals how exact a copy it is.  However, Gordon-Levitt deserves his due credit for making every effort to mimic Willis’s trademark facial expressions and body language; there is a reason that they ask him to mimic Willis rather than the other way around that has everything to do with how talented an actor he is.  As for the film beyond the nose, I must say I found it to be more than passable summer fair (late summer?  Okay, fall.  But it should have been summer fare).  While not as fun as “The Avengers,” it takes itself less seriously than “The Dark Knight Rises” and seems to find the right balance between ponderous science fiction and winking action film.  It lacks the head-over-heels action or stunning visuals of this year’s “Total Recall” but the far more nuanced story reminded me of another 80’s Schwarzenegger hit: “Terminator.”  I’m sure director Rian Johnson (whose rather brilliant “Brick” was an homage to 40’s film noir) was well aware of the parallels about a time traveler trying to kill a child  to prevent the man he becomes.  Just as I’m sure he intended such nods as naming the boy’s mother “Sara” and giving a throw away role to Garret Dillahunt, who played a terminator in the “Sarah Connor Chronicles” TV series.   The basic plot arc unfolds fairly early and most viewers will get a sense of exactly where the film is going.  However, it takes a couple of dark detours along the way and has an ending that I hadn’t been able to predict.  Also, kudos to the promoters who were smart enough to leave key elements of the movie out of the previews; being surprised in an action film is itself a surprise these days.   So, better than “Total Recall?”  Definitely. “The Avengers?”  Definitely not.  “The Dark Knight Rises?”  Close, but I gotta give it to “Looper” by a nose.  Complaints and groans welcome in the comments.

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