I’m convinced that Rian Johnson’s Looper is going to be a fine film, but there’s no point denying it: the prosthetics they put on Joseph Gordon-Levitt so that he can play the younger version of Bruce Willis’ character (or, you know, vice versa) just aren’t sufficient.
Johnson has admitted that there’s a limit to what they could do, saying at this panel, “We knew that we weren’t going to transform Joe into a young Bruce”
It was a constant issue throughout the footage screened. And it’s not just that it doesn’t look like Willis, it’s also that it doesn’t quite look real.
Pretty much everything else looked, and sounded superb.
The extended sizzle reel had two central scenes, each of them a dialogue. In the first, Jeff Daniels and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are having a conversation. Daniels is the character who hires Gordon-Levitt as a Looper – an assassin who gets their victims thrown back in time from the future. Daniels’ character has travelled back in time to have this conversation.
Interestingly, the dialogue addressed a big change in the production. Originally, ugh of the film was set in, and intended to be filmed in France. After the picture became a Chinese co-production, France became China. In the scene, Gordon-Levitt talks about wanting to learn French and move to France. Daniels’ says words to the effect of:
No you don’t. You want to learn Chinese and go to China. Trust me, I’m from the future you want to go to China.
The second scene was a conversation between Bruce Willis as the older version of the character, Gordon-Levitt as the younger in a diner. You’ve seen some of it in the trailers.
The gist of their relationship is that Willis is angry at his younger self, calling him a junkie, a waste, and hating him. It’s a brilliant dynamic. The role also allows Willis to get tough with Gordon-Levitt and threaten him quite comically.
It was handsomely shot stuff too. I think Looper could well punch above its budgetary weight at the box office come September, but really, that’s not so important. It’s looking to be a rather good film, and the make-up issues should be overcome, to a very large extent, but actors pulling out the stops, a director running his engine in top gear and a really good screenplay.
Emily Blunt is certainly enthusiastic, telling us that this film is the one she’s most pleased to be a part of. Looper, she says, is the best film she’s acted in.
That’s better than Dan In Real Life, better than My Summer of Love, better than Jane Austen Book Club, better than Charlie Wilson’s War. And, obviously, she’s just forgotten she was in The Muppets. Right? Right?
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