Sci- fi loops the loop

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - MOVIES - LEIGH PAATSCH Now show­ing Vil­lage Cine­mas

LOOPER is an am­bi­tious, adrenalised sci- fi thriller that is all brains and all brawn, al­most all the time.

First, the brains bit. Looper is a time- travel movie, al­beit with a twist. The year is 2044. Time travel is yet to be in­vented. How­ever, in 2074, time ma­chines ex­ist – and have been out­lawed.

Which is not to say time ma­chines are not in ac­tive use. A mob­ster known as The Rain­maker is us­ing a time- travel cham­ber to dis­pose of his many en­e­mies. They are bound and hooded, bun­dled into the de­vice, and sent back to 2044.

Wait­ing for them at the other end are ‘‘ loop­ers’’: hit­men trained to do noth­ing but shoot their prey from the fu­ture as soon as they ap­pear in the past.

Sounds a bit com­pli­cated, eh? Well, Looper is only get­ting started with the cal­en­dar- shredding, mind- bend­ing stuff, I can as­sure you.

Re­mark­ably, the film’s abil­ity to con­fuse and con­found never be­comes a prob­lem for the viewer. The first act of Looper ex­pertly con­structs a nar­ra­tive maze so in­trigu­ing, most will be all too happy to lose them­selves inside it. The over­all ef­fect is not a par­al­lel world away from Looper ★ ★ ★ ★ ■ Rian John­son ( Brick) Joseph Gor­don- Le­vitt, Bruce Wil­lis, Emily Blunt, Jeff Daniels, Pierce Gagnon. how The Ma­trix con­ducted its trail­blaz­ing busi­ness.

Lead­ing us through the may­hem that will surely fol­low is Joe ( Joseph Gor­donLe­vitt). While he is an ex­pe­ri­enced looper, Joe is still very much learn­ing on the job.

Ru­mour has it that The Rain­maker is ‘‘ clos­ing loops’’: mak­ing loop­ers re­dun­dant by hav­ing them ex­e­cute their fu­ture selves.

But when the time comes for 2044 Joe to kill 2074 Joe ( played by Bruce Wil­lis), the ‘‘ younger’’ self flinches mo­men­tar­ily, and Old Joe ( as he is re­ferred to in the cred­its) makes a run for it.

AD­VER­TIS­ING IN­QUIRIES:

You don’t need a doc­tor­ate in time the­ory to re­alise that hav­ing two ver­sions of the same per­son run­ning around at once is a recipe for dis­as­ter.

Ouch. Does your head hurt al­ready or what? How about we move on to the brawn depart­ment of Looper then?

As a run- gun- and- stun chase pic­ture, Looper de­liv­ers ev­ery thrill, jolt and abrupt burst of chaos with supreme con­fi­dence.

Nev­er­the­less, the film is not so needy as to press the but­ton marked ‘ ac­tion’ when­ever pro­ceed­ings get too quiet for too long.

In­deed, in a grip­ping fi­nal act, Looper locks into a mood that is at once con­tem­pla­tive and com­pelling.

That im­pos­ing, multi- di­rec­tional plot con­verges at a place where you will be en­grossed and even moved by what comes to pass.

With just his third fea­ture, Looper writer- di­rec­tor Rian John­son re­veals him­self to be the most ex­cit­ing and un­ortho­dox film­maker to splash into the main­stream since Christo­pher Nolan.

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