Director/Directors: Rian Johnson
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, et al
Rating: 15 (U.K.)/ PG-13 (U.S.A.)
Release Date: 2012
Stars: 4 (Very good)
I hope you like time travel and telekinesis, because if you don’t, it’s doubtful you’ll like this movie. The movie’s plot revolves around loopers – trained assassins which kill targets from the future. However, only gangs are able to use time travel in the future, so when they need a body gone, they zap them back to the present day (in this case, 2044), where a certain looper takes them out. Loopers have only one rule: kill the target.
Even if the target is you.
The plot becomes reasonably complicated after this moment, so if you can’t get your head round paradoxes, forget this film. I’m trying to keep writing as few plot points as possible in this review, as I know people hate spoilers, and I loathe them with a vengeance myself. So without further ado – is this movie worth watching, and if so, how badly?
Well the opening scene is great, and if anything, a little shocking. Now ‘shocking’ doesn’t mean scary or “wow I wasn’t expecting that”, but it’s very sudden, and frankly, very well done. Yet whilst I didn’t say that this movie was scary, it is a little grim. One scene in particular, for me (which involved an older version of someone having something nasty done to them), wasn’t extremely pleasant to watch, which brings me to the review’s second point.
This film wasn’t at all what I was expecting. If you watched the trailer for Looperand thought, “Cool, that looks like a great action film,” I wouldn’t at all blame you for thinking that. But you’re wrong. Almost hopelessly wrong. This film is more of a slow-burner, and can be quite dramatic and moving at times. But whilst there are only a few action-filled scenes, that definitely does not stop it from being a good film. On the contrary, actually. The acting is superb, and there are three people in particular that stick in my mind: Sara (Emily Blunt), Abe (Jeff Daniels), and last but not least, Cid (Pierce Gagnon). I really want to focus on Gagnon for a minute. The sheer excellence of his acting in this film is extraordinary: he’s funny, charming, and basically, great. And to top it all off, he’s younger than me! I hope this little guy gets more acting roles soon, because he’s one good actor.
Also, kudos to the make-up department in making Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt look so similar. Sometimes it’s quite scary seeing them so much alike (I lied, the film is scary!), but it just adds to the entertainment factor of the film.
But, as always, there are negative points to this film. For one thing, the whole concept of gangs in the future and why only they can use time travel is totally ignored and forgotten about in the film; it was only explained in a sentence, and whilst I understand that it wasn’t an integral part of the film, it would still have been nice to have a bit of clarification. Secondly, there is unnecessary nudity (I mean that. There is absolutely no point in seeing a woman’s top-half in this film) and swearing. While I understand that my view of swearing in films is highly different to the views of others, there were scenes where I’m sure the writers were adding swear words just to make the film ‘gritty and cool.’
Overall, though, a fantastic attempt at creating a witty yet dramatic film about time travel, unlike other silly attempts which only focus on the time travel aspect. I understand that this review is posted too late for you to see Looper in the cinema, but maybe, just maybe, this review was instead meant to be seen so you can all buy the DVD when it comes out on store-shelves!