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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 (Jeff Daniels) and it comes time to "close the loop," the baddies are stuck in a wayback machine and sent on a suicidal blast to the past. 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. 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 saddle him with a distracting makeup job aimed at passing him off as a dead-ringer for a young Willis? (From what I've read it's a Max Factor job, not CG wizardry, but there are moments where I couldn't help but think that Levitt booked passage on The Polar Express.) Another looper, Paul Dano, looks nothing like the actor who plays him at age 58. It officially lost me when Willis and Levitt meet for a Tarantino-style diner scene topped by a dumb-dumb "old man"/"boy" exchange and a spray of bullets. Everything else is a incomprehensible blur. If the "oohs" and "aahs" emanating from the trio of fanboys seated to my right are any indication, I missed something special. With: Emily Blunt, Piper Perabo, and Qing Xu.

Reader Rating: One Star

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denfrank Oct. 4, 2012 @ 8:59 a.m.

Money saved again, thanks. I'm waiting for the 70mm print of The Master this winter. You really want see Joaquin Phoenix finger-bang a sand sculpture on the widescreen to really appreciate mise en scène.


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