I'm like 87 percent sure Bruce Willis is contractually obligated to shoot at least one gun in every film he is in. Seriously, when is the last time you saw Bruce Willis in a romantic comedy? I go back and forth on this dude constantly. He really gets it right when he stars in films like Moonrise Kingdom (one of the best films of the summer, in my opinion) but then he just jumps back to stereotypical Willis fair, such as Looper and whatever Die Hard number they're on right now.
Anyway. I digress. The movie I saw this weekend was Looper starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The film tells the story set in the distant future, where trained assassins like Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character, Joe, are sent out on missions to kill targets sent back in time from even further into the future. Things get crazed, however, when Levitt's future self, played by Willis, is actually his next target. And then it gets crazier when Willis is like, "LOL nope" and escapes before Joe can kill him. Trust me, Joe's internal monologue tells this story a lot better than I do.
The story in itself is very interesting—a new take on time travel that assures you it didn't come out of a box in Keanu Reeves' basement. The plot is fast-paced and told very effectually through internal narration and complex characters written well and played unfortunately sub-par to horrible.
Like most action movies, there are many pitfalls, including the acting. Honestly, the reason I didn't want to see this movie is because of how much the producers and actors bragged about Joseph Gordon-Levitt's makeup. They all seemed so pleased with themselves that they got Levitt to look "so much like" Bruce Willis. Little did they know, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, even after all of these extensively wasted hours in the makeup chair, looked absolutely nothing like Bruce Willis. Even worse was the fact that you could legitimately tell that Joseph Gordon -Levitt had had a field day in the Bruce Willis dollar bin from how pale of an imitation he tries to pull off in the film. Although I am a fan of Levitt (his work in the film 50/50 depicts one of the most realistic and heartbreaking portrayals in grief than I have ever seen before) his performance—more so an imitation of Willis—comes off as flat and boring in this film.
Bruce Willis was a lot of wasted potential—when he comes back to the past/near future, his storyline is thin and hard to buy into. He is unnecessarily gruff, vengeful and inconsistent. This is the only segment of the movie that seems to lag, as his storyline is both silly and unbelievable.
Like a light in a tremendously dark tunnel, Emily Blunt comes through with the save, providing a stimulating character in her role as Sara, a single mother working in isolation on a farm Levitt's character is drawn into. She plays the role of a depressed, in-over-her-head mother with relative ease, finally drawing the audience in with some actual emotional depth in a film positively saturated with blood, guts and explosions.
This film is by no means a bad film. It is a rollicking Sci-Fi epic that keeps viewers interested and goes through a complicated plot very naturally. Not to mention it is supported by great cinematography and special effects (besides Levitt's makeup; that was a train no one could stop). However, it is by no means fantastic, either. From the unconvincing acting, flimsy plotlines and silly dialogue, Looper is an action film with bite, but no bark. It is a fun movie to watch, but I must warn future viewers to please not expect to have to think about anything in this film other than the intentionally complicated plot and irritatingly unbelievable link between Joe's future and present self.