The Trailer You’ve Been Waiting For: ‘Looper’

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis play the same man at different points in his life in the action film 'Looper.' Watch the 'Looper' trailer—a trailer that had its own trailers—here.

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The newly released spot for the upcoming Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt thriller Looper is a “trailer” in two senses. Movie promotions used to come after the feature, hence the terminology, but here’s one that comes after three separate teasers for its own release, dubbed “vignettes.” Teaser trailers have been around for a while, but the level of hype here feels extreme. The three-day countdown of clips has meant that anyone paying attention to the film already knows not just the basic plot—Gordon-Levitt is a man on the hunt for his future self, Willis—but also how the make-up crew went about making the two men pass as one, how the director (Rian Johnson) feels about making audiences think and that Gordon-Levitt says this action film is his “favorite thing [he’s] ever done.”

The full trailer loses the actor and director commentary and replaces it with lots of explosions, strobes, pounding techno and spinning camera frames. And ominous pocket watches. And Emily Blunt with a gun. And Joseph Gordon-Levitt actually doing a pretty awesome Bruce Willis impression. And, for a movie about time-traveling assassins (Loopers, natch), a summing-up of an intricate plot in a way that doesn’t make your head hurt—despite a nice Jeff Daniels one-liner to the contrary.

And bonus: this trailer is for a real movie, not another trailer, and you don’t even have to time travel to see it—just wait till September.

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