Rian Johnson is an odd director. Odd in that, despite lashings of critical praise for the two films he’s made so far, he’s still largely unknown. Out of those people who do know him, most were first made aware of him by his film ‘Brick’.
‘Brick’ had an audacious concept: a film-noir set in a contemporary high school. An engrossing and labyrinthine plot defines the film, and this is enlivened by an (initially impenetrable) youth slang devised by Johnson, who wrote the film itself. Joseph Gordon-Levitt acquits himself well as the protagonist; effectively tying all the strands of the taut plot together against a backdrop of youthful apathy and atmospheric music.
Rian Johnson followed that up by releasing the less well-known ‘The Brothers Bloom’: an interesting conman movie that had, in Mark Ruffalo and Adrien Brody a strong and chemistry-laden rapport between its stars, if you then throw a memorable part for Robbie Coltraine and an energetic and imaginative turn from Rachel Weisz into the mix, you end up with the recipe for a lightweight, romping con movie with a jaunty yet surprisingly emotive feel. A good time to be had at the movies, yessiree.
Both of Johnson’s films so far were written by him, and both demonstrate a strong vein of originality and a willingness to try new things. Listen to the guy speak or just watch any of his films, and it’s clear he loves movies. His films are full of knowing winks and nods.
And so, with that, we come to his latest, ‘Looper’. ‘Looper’ is a time-travel movie where said time-travel exists, but is, in fact, illegal in the future. Mobsters use it to send assassination targets back to be eliminated by Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character, Joe. All seems hunk-dory until Joe is asked to kill what appears to be his future self… And that’s about all that’s known of the plot. I’m willing to bet that, at the very least, his job-satisfaction goes right down though, and it’s hard to see how his next appraisal meeting is going to go well (or at all).
Hollywood doesn’t often allow original properties by interesting directors to get made, so it’s a good opportunity to send out a message that you want to see more of this. Check out the trailer below, and prepare to be excited:
See this film before it’s too late, and all we have are films like the forthcoming ‘Battleship’ *shudder*…. That’s a dystopian future I don’t want to see.