Can’t Wait: Rian Johnson’s ‘Looper’


While my other movie series, I Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Film School, looks back, I figured I should place at least one foot in the here and now of giddy anticipation.  Therefore, Can’t Wait focuses on upcoming movies I, well, can’t wait to see, along with a few reasons why.

Pretension can be okay.  After all, I’m the guy who has watched eight foreign films in the past two weeks.  But nothing in the movie world makes me happier than a crackerjack genre picture.  Writer/Director Rian Johnson knows precisely how to make those, and his third effort, Looper, appears to be exactly what I want.

With only two movies under his belt (and a couple great episodes of Breaking Bad and Terriers), Johnson has shown a proclivity toward gleefully playing with classic American filmmaking genres.  In Brick, he combined the Dashiell Hammett detective film with high school angst and perfectly balanced those seemingly warring conceits on an entertaining tightrope.  The Brothers Bloom was a clever, breezy con artist movie with beautiful European cinematography and plenty of twists.  And now Johnson’s set his sights on sci-fi with Looper, in which Joseph Gordon-Levitt has to kill his future self, played by Bruce Willis.  Plus Jeff Daniels with a beard.  Neat, right?

It also helps that Johnson is a really easy guy to root for.  He’s a humble person who always has interesting things to say in interviews and he’s quick to reply to questions on his Twitter account.  His coolest bit of fan service is his Looper production diary on Tumblr, on which he posts set photos, new posters, trailers, and the occasional Calvin and Hobbes strip.

Here’s hoping Looper lives up to the hype in my head.  Based on that trailer, this movie has the potential to be in my 2012 top five.  Fingers crossed.

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