History repeats itself as Bruce Willis stars in another excellent time travel movie
The year is 2047 and time travel hasn't been invented… yet. Three decades later it will be, and the outlawed technology is quickly leapt upon by criminal organisations. Now, whenever they want somebody to 'disappear', they simply send them back to a prearranged time and place in 2047 where an assassin called a 'looper' kills them and disposes of the body – completely eliminating them from the future and leaving no pesky evidence behind.
Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is one of the best loopers in the business and has never let a target escape. But that changes the day that his older self (Bruce Willis) is sent back for elimination, at which point he hesitates just long enough for him to escape. Now young Joe has to go on the run from the mob, and find and kill his older self if he is to have any chance of staying alive.
While it has all of the superficial elements that Hollywood usually employs in genre films (guns, action, etc), at its heart Looper has deeper themes to explore. In this way, it feels close to Terry Gilliam's magnificent 12 Monkeys (which also starred Bruce Willis – make of that what you will). Only here the cinematic heritage being called upon isn't the work of Alfred Hitchcock, but the hard-boiled crime flicks that also informed writer-director Rian Johnson's earlier films Brick and The Brothers Bloom.
Picture: Looper comes to Blu-ray with an extremely authentic-looking 1080p rendering of the original 35mm source material. Free from any obvious digital flaws – or DNR and edge enhancement – the disc's AVC 2.40:1 encode excels in its clarity and sharpness. It doesn't always knock you out with its colour saturation, mainly because the filmmakers have opted to employ a deliberately washed-out palette that doesn't offer too many bright primaries in the first place.
Picture rating: 4.5/5
Audio: Looper's DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio proves to be wonderfully dynamic and immersive. There's plenty of multichannel ambience and fluidity on show, with effects accurately steered around the soundfield, and when guns and hoverbikes come out to play they're accompanied by impressive sonic impact. The result is an accomplished piece of sound design that gets the very best out of its Foley work, score and dialogue.
Audio rating: 5/5
Extras: Writer-director Johnson joins stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt for a fascinating commentary track (and not the same one that was made available to download during the film's theatrical release). Also included are 20 deleted scenes (with optional commentary), five informative behind-the-scenes featurettes and an arty animated trailer. Not bad at all.
Extras rating: 3.5/5
We say: A cracking disc for a brilliant modern sci-fi film that deserves repeat viewing
EntertainmentOne, Region B BD, £25 Approx, On sale now
HCC VERDICT: 4.5/5
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