While I’ve been rather excitedly banging on this year about the return to active filmmaking of the class of 1990something – Wes Anderson, Paul Thomas Anderson, Whit Stillman, Todd Solondz – I should, in all fairness, spend a few moments on the new film by Rian Johnson, a veteran of the class of 2000something.
Johnson’s debut, 2005’s Brick, brilliantly transposed the dialogue rhythms and story tropes of hardboiled crime fiction into the contemporary world of a suburban Californian high school. His ambitious 2009 follow-up, The Brothers Bloom, with Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo as a pair of globe-trotting con men, slightly missed its mark. It’s encouraging to see, though, the trailer for Johnson’s latest, Looper, which seems to be trying – as with Brick – to find something new to add to an already perilously crowded genre – in this instance, time travel movies.
We know that, in the future, time travel is illegal – but the mob use it as a means to dispose of their enemies, sending them back 30 years to where a hit man, called a ‘looper’, finishes them off. One such looper is played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt – who toplined Brick, and has since gone on to become one of Christopher Nolan’s stock players in Inception and The Dark Knight Rises. Gordon-Levitt is played in the future by Bruce Willis – who appears to have been sent back in time to be disposed of by his younger self. What could possibly go wrong?
We’ll be reviewing Looper in next month’s Uncut; in the meantime, you can watch the trailer below.