In this week’s Fatal Fourway, the battle on on for which Joseph Gordon-Levitt film shows the man at his best
It’s no surprise that Joseph Gordon-Levitt was recently voted ‘most instantly likeable man currently alive’ by some poll I just made up. He’s a man who practically vomits charm. Whether he’s playing an innocent trickster in 10 Things I Hate about You or making hipsters not detestable in 500 Days of Summer, Levitt’s your go to guy.
But these roles are barely a stretch for captain charm. Imagine after the success of 500 Days of Summer, some mysterious individual came up to you and claimed that Levitt would one day star in a film where he played a younger Bruce Willis. You’d be all “Nuh uh, mystery chap. He’s gonna be wearing cardigans and having shallow hipster emotions for the rest of his cinema life”.
In Looper that’s precisely what he does, playing a young version of Bruce Willis’ assassin character. He wears a chunky prosthetic nose to make him look slightly like Willis but it’s Levitt’s dead on impression of the man’s mannerisms that make you forget you’re watching the weedy nerd boy from 10 Things I Hate About You. He swaggers in the same way and does that whole patented Willis halfway glare. Not to mention the film itself is about time travel and there are loads of guns and it’s totally rad and awesome. It’s the best Bruce Willis performance in well over a decade, it just happens to have been performed by Levitt.
By Conor Barry
It’s a great feeling beginning a battle you already know you’re going to win. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and the innovation of film that is Inception, is like a tiger amongst kittens in this futile fourway.
Inception is so mind-blowingly amazing you probably didn’t even understand what it was about; more than likely you left the cinema with a growing sense of perplexity and a strange desire to purchase a dream catcher.
From the moment Leonard DiCaprio starts talking about “a dream, within a dream, within a dream, within some other dream” your whole perception of reality and consciousness, as you know it is disintegrated before your eyes. I’m pretty certain were Freud still alive; he would be a fan of Inception. It doesn’t get much bigger than that.
Aside from that pregnant girl from Juno making Paris turn sideways, Inception is host to one of the best fight scenes in modern movie history, as Gordon-Levitt kicks ass zero gravity style in a hotel hallway. Inception is an example of special effects at their best, 10 Things I Hate About You is a Shakespeare adaptation with Julia Stiles in it. Need I say more?
If you’re looking to make yourself increasingly irate, then 500 Days of Summer and Zooey Deschanel’s obnoxious quirkiness is the movie for you. Should you find yourself seeking something slightly more stimulating, not to mention bad ass, then the choice is pretty clear.
By Anna Burzlaff
10 Things I Hate About You
While the explosive success of Joseph Gordon-Levitt may have come as a shock to those who remembered him solely from his longhaired, squeaky-voiced youth in 3rd Rock From the Sun, there was a film during this time that gave us a glimpse of what was to come. 10 Things I Hate About You is the 90s interpretation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, and therefore takes place in a high-school and mentions feminism while not being all that feminist.
JGL plays Cameron James, a typical nice guy who has recently transferred to the school and immediately sets his lusty sights on Bianca. Biana unfortunately is not allowed to date because her Obstetrician father is hyper-paranoid about teen pregnancy. He makes a new rule: Bianca can only date if her older sister, the unfriendly outcast Kat, also does. Nice guy that he is, JGL pays the scariest guy in school, Heath Ledger, to seduce Kat so that he has a shot at bagging the younger one.
Though morally questionable, it is a great film and one of the first real showcases of Levitt’s acting talent. Sure he had a slow motion zero-gravity fight in Inception, and was a time travelling Bruce Willis in Looper and banged Zooey Deschanel in 500 Days, but in any of those did he pimp out The Joker? No he did not. You have to go to this 90s teen movie for that sort of action.
By Emer Sugrue
500 Days of Summer
I don’t know why we’re bothering to argue this one out this week. The winner is obvious: why would you choose any other of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s films, when 500 Days of Summer is already the clear winner? It comes complete with Zooey Deschanel, and is the happiest break-up film of all time.
JGL falls very in love with Zooey, and while you’re still imagining how ridiculously beautiful their babies will be and how easily that family would take over the world by simply being a more hipster, yet easily more likeable version of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s brood, the dream family dies a quick death. She’s just not that into him, and he goes about being sad, because he too had been thinking he’d take over the world with his super cute hipster children.
No matter, JGL is at his best when he’s miserable, and boy is he miserable after that break up. In a nice way though. You won’t be sad watching it, like. It’s cute when he’s pathetic.
Why would you choose a film where JGL only features for like, 20 seconds because Leonardo DiCaprio has a crazy dream wife, or a JGL with Bruce Willis’ nose, or even, Shakesperian JGL? None of those make sense. What you need is the spontaneous rendition of ‘You Make My Dreams’ he leads with a bunch of strangers. What you need is to smile through an entire film. What you need is the very sweet and clever JGL in 500 Days.
By Aoife Valentine