Akira is one of the most visually stunning movies I’ve ever seen. I didn’t get everything about the plot, but I mostly didn’t mind because the images were so impressive and amazing that every frame is worth admiring. It’s also a fearless movie, willing to go any place it wants to go, no matter if it’s violent or nightmarish or apocalyptic or sleazy. Again, I’m not sure about the story exactly but the movie is never boring and always astonishes you with a new set piece. Its world is complete, so fully fleshed out, that it is very easy to fall into it. Sometimes you don’t know exactly why the characters are acting the way the do, but you don’t care as long as you can follow them through this world of Neo Tokyo, with its fascination for technology and brain power. It is no surprise to see Akira was very influential for many filmmakers. It’s impossible to watch this now and not think of The Matrix, to name just one. It is simply an impressive movie.
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Looper is the rare intelligent movie that also delivers on action, suspense and sci-fi elements. To me, it was a perfectly constructed story that constantly surprised me (I’m not surprised by movies very often) and kept me at the edge of my seat. When it ended, the first thing I thought was: “I want to watch that again.” It’s also one of those movies I enjoyed so much while it was still on that I was sure it would fail at its ending. But it certainly didn’t disappoint. It definitely cranks up the action factor towards the end, but the action always has a purpose and is story-driven and Rian Johnson, the writer-director, keeps coming up with innovative ideas to film the action. In fact, the whole movie is so well-made and uses the possibilities of cinema in a way that you wonder why everyone else doesn’t do that more (I guess it boils down to talent). Johnson’s use of camera and editing is brilliant, which is maybe surprising because his script is so well-written, too. Is this the better Inception? I don’t know if it’s a fair comparison, but the moment a student mentioned it, I couldn’t stop thinking that Looper shows why Inception might be overrated. Then again, both feature great performances, but I enjoyed the Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Bruce Willis pairing so much and all the supporting actors and actresses keep up that level easily. The movie doesn’t even disappoint when it comes to the role of women (I think), but I should save that for my analysis.
Continue reading Looper (2012) [Part 1]