Matthew Lickona 1 p.m., July 22
A nifty idea botched by writer, director Rian Johnson's (Brick) unnecessarily dense plotting. (A calculatedly confusing storyline does not a good movie make.) Tickets should come with a road map (or a comic book adaptation) wrapped around them to help guide audiences through this. In a dystopian universe that resembles any number of cramped, squalid depictions of a Hollywoodized future, the mob blindfolds finks and sends them 30 years into the past to be whacked by hitmen known as "loopers." There's a catch: when a hired gun displeases the boss and it comes time to "close the loop," the baddies are stuck in the wayback machine and sent on a suicidal blast to the past. But wouldn't it have been simpler to direct Joseph Gordon-Levitt to brush up on reruns of Moonlighting to help find his character, rather than saddling him with a distracting makeup job aimed at passing him off as a dead-ringer for a young Bruce Willis? It officially lost me when Willis and Levitt met for a Tarantino-style diner scene topped by a dumb-dumb "old man"/"boy" exchange and a spray of bullets. Everything after that was an incomprehensible blur. With Emily Blunt, Piper Perabo, and Qing Xu. 2012.
- Big Screen Review • September 27, 2012