Looper – Released in Korea today

Rian Johnson first burst onto the indie scene seven years ago with the cult classic, Brick, a modern-day film noir focusing on a high school student’s desire to find his missing ex-girlfriend. His follow up, The Brothers Bloom, which starred Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo, flew relatively under the radar and failed to wow the critics in the way Brick had done.

It’s been four years since his last film, but now Johnson is returning with the sci-fi action flick Looper, in which a hit man from the year 2047 has been assigned the strangest of missions: kill a version of himself from 30 years in the future.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Joe, a hit man for hire based in the American Midwest. The head office of his employers is in Shanghai, and it is from there that they dispatch the targets they want Joe to kill. However, they are not sent by plane or boat, but physically sent back in time through a portal located in the year 2077. Joe is only paid if his targets are exterminated, but this is made difficult when he recognizes his latest mark as himself 30 years in the future, played by Bruce Willis. His target escapes, forcing Joe to flee from his employers, running for his life while simultaneously trying to kill his 55-year-old self.

Not only does the premise of the film sound interesting, but so does the fact that the film is based on Philip K. Dick’s short story The Loop and Loom. The style appears to be borrowing from some other sci-fi classics, too. Blade Runner redesigned the way people thought about the future in film by promoting the idea that when going forward, you must look to the past. Looper is no different, with the buildings and costume design all looking like they come from the 1920s, albeit with a futuristic tint. A huge effort also went into the physical effects, as Gordon Levitt went through three hours of make-up a day, including a prosthetic nose, to make himself look like a young Bruce Willis.

In addition, Badass Digest reported the exciting news that Shane Carruth is doing “some effects for the time-travel sequences.” Carruth, of course, is the director of one of the deepest and most thought-provoking time-travel movies ever, Primer. That film was unmistakably low-budget, but is still regarded as one of the best time-travel movies of all time, so it will be interesting to see what these two creative forces come up with.

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