Writer/director Rian Johnson has earned a pretty solid cult following over the past few years, thanks to his high school Noir flick Brick and quirky con man movie The Brothers Bloom. He'll be treading on new territory with Looper, an upcoming sci-fi thriller that reunites Johnson with his Brick leading man (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and aims to throw the time travel genre for (wait...) a loop.
Reviews from an early screening of Looper were pretty enthusiastic; some of the critics in attendance compared Looper to titles like director Duncan Jones' Moon, in terms of how the former works as both a smart spin on popular sci-fi subject matter - and an overall entertaining film, on its own terms. So, that's definitely encouraging to hear.
Here is the film's official synopsis.
LOOPER is a time-travel action thriller that involves a killer (Gordon-Levitt) who works for the mob of the future. He, along with other so-called Loopers, dispose of people that are sent from the future. When he recognizes one victim as his future self (Bruce Willis), he hesitates, letting the man escape.
Hopefully an actual trailer for Looper is on the more immediate horizon; in the meantime, here's a black-and-white set pic that shows off Johnson inside one of the film's unusual time machines:
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There is something quite appropriate about just how unrefined the time vehicle (which does somewhat recall the time travel tech in Twelve Monkeys) in Looper looks. It lends the technology a bit more of a "realistic" vibe since, if a time machine actually did exist, chances are good that the early model would be a tangled mess of wires, metal, energy-supplying packs, and whatever else scientists could cobble together, in order to create something that actually defies the laws of the everyday time-space continuum. Likewise, this set image is (hopefully) a good visual indicator of Johnson having taken his now (almost) customary cleverly-unorthodox storytelling approach.
Combine that with early good reviews and a nice cast that includes Levitt and Willis, along with Emily Blunt (The Adjustment Bureau), Jeff Daniels (The Squid and the Whale), and Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood) and there's good reason to think Looper could be to 2012 what Jones' Source Code was to 2011, ie. a smaller-profile but cerebral bit of sci-fi entertainment that ends up becoming a sizable hit.
We shall see when Looper hits theaters around the U.S. on September 28th, 2012.