Monday, October 29, 2012


"Looper" is a bold, daring piece of work by Rian Johnson. Prior to this film, he worked on films of a much smaller scale (namely Brick and The Brothers Bloom). This time however, he was shooting for the stars as he wrote and directed this mind-blowing action/sci-fi/thriller about time travel. If you thought "Inception" was complex, then wait till you see this! This film is so meta that it would fail miserably without the narration to guide you along. As Bruce Willis’ character rightly says in the film, "this time travel crap…just fries your brain like an egg". Creating a story around time travel and altering the course of history is always tricky, but it is handled pretty well here (assuming you’re able to follow the timeline of events). Johnson finds very smart ways of conveying the relationship between the past and the future. I particularly liked the ending, as it satisfyingly wraps up the prior events of the film. As with any futuristic film, "Looper" required much attention to detail with respect to the look and feel of our future world. This aspect was one of the strong points for me, as it is tastefully done. This version of the future features a believable cityscape, without outlandish technology and clothing. I loved several of the embellishments, such as the solar panels on the cars and homes. It's a job well done by the art director and visual effects team.

Of course, these are just elements to provide the framework for the story. As you probably know, the film is named after assassins called loopers, who get rid of unwanted men from the future with the use of illegal time travel. Unfortunately, this profession has its expiry date, as the loopers eventually have to kill their future selves. This aspect is one the major thematic elements of the film. Would you kill yourself if your job required it? As the story unfolds, we realize that sometimes loopers are unable to do the deed and are then vigorously persecuted for their inaction. When the lead character Joe (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) gets himself in this predicament with his older self (played by Bruce Willis), it sets up the action-packed thrill ride that follows. The film is most compelling when exploring the dynamic between these 2 and the basic badassness of Bruce Willis on a rampage. Unfortunately, the 2nd half of the film adds a curveball, which while interesting in and of itself, ends up stretching the film's ambitions too far. To further explain the plot details of this development would give away unnecessary spoilers. All I would say is, the film ends up feeling like an X-Men movie (and not in a good way). Sure, it adds a nice human/emotional element to the story, but its impact is hindered by the various other themes at play.

Overall, the film is quite brilliant in various areas of the plot, but when you put it all together, I don’t think it quite nails its potential excellence. It’s a very good film that is well-acted (especially Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt) and impeccably crafted, but it could have been even greater with a more focused overarching narrative.


  1. Good review. I liked this flick because of what it did with it's sci-fi approach, but I do admit that I didn't feel much of a connect to the characters. And even when there was moments to try and connect with them, they felt a bit tacked-on and uninteresting. But still, I had a great time with this flick and I sure as hell hope that Johnson does more in the near-future.

    1. Agreed. I couldn't help but compare it to the Mal story line in Inception and how that completely devastated me. This could have been almost as potent, but it fell short.

  2. I agree with your review of course since it falls very much into my original feels for it.

    Maybe your review would read better if you put the summary on top of your initial thoughts? We get your thoughts about the ending without even knowing what the story is about (thinking about this as not knowing about the movie)