LOOPER (R16) (Contains graphic violence & offensive language) 

A fresh approach to the time travel movie, Looper blends visual spectacle with an intelligent, twist filled movie that is sure to cement writer/director Rian Johnson’s reputation as one of America’s most exciting filmmakers. 

Looper reunites Johnson with his Brick (a personal favourite) leading man Joseph Gordon-Levitt who stars as Joe, a hit-man in 2042 who terminates unsuspecting targets sent back in time from the year 2072 by the mafia. 

When his next victim is Joe’s future self (played by Bruce Willis) hesitation sees his mark slip away, infuriating his employers and forcing Joe to track down his older self to unsuspecting consequences. 

Gordon-Levitt provides a wholly convincing performance and perfectly imitates a young Bruce Willis, along with the help of some nifty make-up and prosthetics. Good too are Willis himself who has an eye for hip, up and coming filmmakers (Quentin Tarantino, M. Night Shyamalan) and Emily Blunt, who convincingly pulls off an American accent in a much different, darker role than the usual. 

Most impressive in Looper is its intelligent sci-fi and ethical drama, with the time travel angle a bridge between both. Johnson stimulates the mind and the senses with thought provoking questions about fate and second chances. 

Rare is the genre film that is as absorbing, entertaining and surprising as Looper. Here’s hoping Johnson will provide many more of its kind in the year ahead.