Friday, October 12, 2012

Movie Review: Looper

I know this might be a little late since the movie has been out for two weeks, and two weeks is forever in today's fast paced world. But for those of you who haven't checked it out...

The gist: It's the year 2044. In thirty years time travel will be invented--and immediately outlawed. Disposing bodies is also quite difficult n the future.  Gangsters will use time travel to send people back in time to be assassinated by Loopers, this includes the Loopers older versions when it's time to close the loop. However, for Joe, his older self returns with a mission: get the Rainmaker.

Yes, it's a time travel movie, and like all time travel films it's terribly flawed. Personally, I think it's impossible to do time travel properly, because the theory itself is nonsensical. It did seem that the writers wanted the time travel to "work" in this film, but, uh.... You'll see.

For the most part, I enjoyed the film. Joesph Gordan-Levitt was great as young Joe, and I was quite pleased to see Paul Dano in this, although his part was short-lived (if you haven't seen him in True Blood, which was a boring film, but his parts make it worth watching). Bruce Willis is, well, Bruce Willis. But overall the acting was very well done.

The film also did a good job of setting a semi-dystopian tone, and thankfully, they didn't resort to ripping off Blade Runner's gritty city feel. You saw the poor and homeless camping out in tents, dressed in filthy clothes, while the Loopers ran around in nice clothing, going to clubs, doing drugs. You saw why someone would go for life of assassinating, 'cause it sure as hell beat the other life.

There was also an interesting mix of old and modern technology. You have hover bikes, but you also have Ford trucks. They also brought back the blunderbuss, which is essentially a shotgun, but blunderbuss is much more fun to say.

Gore. Yes there's a lot of it, but then again, this is about an assassin who shoots people with a blunderbuss. How could there not be any splatter? There's even instances where characters are completely covered in blood, and one rather disturbing scene.

As for the story, I thought it was a decent character-driven story arc, about young Joe going from a selfish nitwit to someone who cares about others. It's not quite an action film, which might disappoint some people. There are some shoot outs and one crazy-ass scene where Willis goes all Rambo on the thugs (and within context, was waaaaay over-the-top), but the story isn't about the action. The heart of the story is when Young Joe encounters a young mother and her child, out on a farm. 

But there were problems with the time travel, or maybe this was writer laziness, but the movie shows early on that whatever happens to your younger version affects your older version. So if Young Joe cuts himself, then Old Joe will have a scar. But yet, emotions didn't carry over. Young Joe develops feelings for this woman and her child as he attempts to protect them from his older self. Why doesn't Old Joe then also share in these feelings? But no, Old Joe is set to kill them no matter what. Not to mention, by interfering with the past, wouldn't that change the future, and thus change Old Joe?

Other than those illogical bits, it's a pretty decent movie and worth watching if you like a sci-fi film with some heart... and a lot splatter.

4 out of 5 time-traveling stars.


  1. I saw it this past weekend with my dad, and we enjoyed it. Despite some of the inevitable time-travel discrepancies, I appreciated the world-building and attention to detail. And I'm just a sucker for future noir.

    1. Future noir western (notice the bad guy's hats?), gotta love it. :)

  2. A good review. I wanted to like Looper more than I did. But once it basically became a Terminator remake jumbled with the X-men, I lost some of my enthusiasm.

    1. Yeah, I got the Terminator vibe as well. If I could've changed something, it'd probably be the ending--something that would fit with the film's time travel logic (if that's possible).