Review written by Miller
Sci-fi Action Thriller
runtime 1hr 58min
Directed by Rian Johnon
1. Die Hard
2. Pulp Fiction
3. Moonrise Kingdom
4. 12 Monkeys
5. Sin City
7. The Fifth Element
8. The Sixth Sense
9. Beavis and Butthead Do America
10. The Whole Nine Yards
That right there is one humble man’s opinion. That is my top ten list of Bruce Willis movies. Some people may put “Pulp Fiction” ahead of “Die Hard.” Some people may consider “Sin City” to be ahead of “Moonrise Kingdom” and “12 Monkeys.” Some people might include Robert Altman’s brilliant “The Player,” in which Bruce Willias has a very brief cameo appearance. However, those people didn’t make this list. I’m not saying that they would be wrong. I’m just saying that if they want you to read their top ten list of Bruce Willis movies, then they should have pestered their friends to let them write pop-culture reviews for their website about toys.
An astute top ten list reader may have noticed that 2 of the 10 movies listed were released this year. Number 3 is Wes Anderson’s 2nd best film (between Number 1, “Rushmore” and Number 3, “The Royal Tenenbaums” [make your own lists, ding dongs]) and number 6 is Rian Johnon’s new sci-fi thriller “Looper.”
Rian Johnson made an incredible and incredibly clever movie called “Brick” in 2005. “Brick” is one of those movies that stupid people don’t understand. It isn’t really that complicated, but some of the dialogue is hard to keep up with (I recommend subtitles) and it is a somewhat labyrinthine plot. The reason that the dialogue is so odd and the plot is so twisting and turning is that it is a hard boiled detective story (a “film noir” for those fim nerds out there). The catch is that it is set in a high school in modern day California. Clever, right?
That is what is so great about “Looper.” It is clever as hell. The setting isn’t anything new. It is just another dystopian future, like “Blade Runner,” “Children of Men,” or my personal favorite dystopia “Idiocracy.” What sets “Looper” apart from those fine films is the crazy-ass time travel plot and the amazing acting of one of the years’ best casts (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, and the perpetually underrated Jeff Daniels).
I don’t wanna spoil anything, so I’ll put it like this. Take one part “Blade Runner,” two parts “Terminator 2,” and sprinkle in a little “Back to the Future,” add better acting and a slice of “The Omen” and you’ve got “Looper.” If you have seen the movie or if you see it later, and you think that my description is horribly inaccurate then I, once again, recommend finding your own close friend with a website.
Rian Johnson isn’t George Lucas, but he’s working on it. Talent borrows, genius steals. I probably should have put quotation marks around that last sentence, but I’m not borrowing it (appologies to Oscar Wilde). George Lucas took familiar stories and placed them in new and exciting contexts like outer space or WWII. Rian Johnson does that too, not as well as George Lucas, but better than James Cameron (don’t pretend that you didn’t notice that “Avatar” was just “Dancing With Wolves” in space). Although Mr. Johnson has yet to make a better film than Mr. Lucas or Mr. Cameron, after seeing “Looper” it makes me think that one day he might.
After “Brick,” Rian Johnson tried his hardest to make a Wes Anderson movie and he called it “The Brothers Bloom.” That movie sucked. I remember, because I was very disappointed when I saw it. “Brick” was such a clever and well made movie, and “The Brothers Bloom” was such a boring turd that it makes the kickass “Looper” all the more satisfying. Rian Johnson has made two really good movies and here is to hoping for many many more.
I’ll finish this essay with a wee bit of a rant. Why does everyone think that the future is going to be so horrible? I have yet to see one good movie about the future where everything isn’t nasty and people don’t kill each other without thinking twice. Take a freakin’ pill Hollywood. Apparently ten to fifty years from now California is going to be like Rio in “City of God” but without all of the kindness. Good Lord people, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the future is more “The Jetsons” than “The Road.”