Joseph Gordon-Levitt isn’t the most obvious candidate to play a young Bruce Willis — opposite Bruce Willis, no less — but after seeing this pulse-quickening, excitingly stylish new UK trailer for Rian Johnson’s “Looper,” we’re buying into the unlikely faceoff hook, line and sinker.
Thugs send poor suckers they want bumped off to assassin Gordon-Levitt. The catch? The thugs live in the future, and ship their desired hits back to him via time-travel. The other catch? One of Gordon-Levitt’s assigned hits is an older version of himself, from the future, played by Willis. Emily Blunt co-stars, and packs some heat.
Wait for the moment when Gordon-Levitt says, “You don’t know this already?” It’s like Willis incarnate.
This isn’t the first 2012 sci-fi film that’s featured a younger actor playing an older one. Josh Brolin gamely portrayed Tommy Lee Jones in “Men in Black 3,” in another time-traveling, fate-changing scenario. Brolin kept his natural mug to play Jones, whereas Gordon-Levitt sports cosmetically thinned lips and more defined eyebrows to look like Willis in “Looper.” Sometimes digital and/or prosthetic changes can distract from a performance, but if this trailer is any indication, Gordon-Levitt’s au naturel ability will shine through.
The film releases September 28.