DVD review: Smart script leads to a thrilling leap in time-travel tale 'Looper'

A smart script leads to a thrilling leap in time-travel tale 'Looper'
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Grade • A-

DVD • If New Year's Eve is the time to look back and look ahead, then Rian Johnson's "Looper" is the perfect DVD for the date. This trippy science-fiction tale centers on Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a hitman known as a "looper" who kills mobsters sent to him from the future (where time travel is possible, but illegal and therefore only used by gangsters).

When Joe's victim is a 30-years-older version of himself (played by Bruce Willis), the chase is on — as old Joe launches a deadly mission, and young Joe tries to stop old Joe before he does. The diverging time streams lead both to a farmhouse, where live a single mom (Emily Blunt) and a child (Pierce Gagnon) who's not all he appears to be. Johnson ("Brick," "The Brothers Bloom") pens a whip-smart script that sets up its time-travel premise and plays out its complications expertly. Gordon-Levitt gets Willis' trademark mannerisms down perfectly, and Gagnon is a rare discovery.

Extras include deleted scenes, and commentary tracks with Johnson, Gordon-Levitt and Blunt. —

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