Review: Looper

Looper is a time-travel, sci-fi , gangster film with some slight horror undertones. Sound like a mess to you? Well think again. This could be one of the best, most fun films you’ll see all year.

In 2074 time travel was invented and immediately outlawed. It is also impossible to murder anyone thanks to the amount of surveillance equipment is being used by the police. However, the mob owns a time travel device and sends people they want rid of (their head in a bag and some silver tablets for the assassin to cash in) back thirty years to a specific time and place where an assassin will be waiting to kill them. These assassins are called Loopers because, after they have served their purpose their ‘loop’ is closed by the mob sending their older selves back to be killed with a much larger pay off whereupon the Looper’s contract is terminated and they get to live out the next thirty years awaiting the inevitable.

Joe is the protagonist  and seems to have it more figured out than a lot of his fellow Loopers, he has been stockpiling for his limited future after his loop is closed. But, out of the blue, loops start getting closed more rapidly with rumours about a shadowy figure called ‘The Rainmaker’ being the one behind it.

Before too long he comes face-to-face with another victim, but this time the face is showing and he’s ready to fight. Joe’s future self gets away and sparks a fight for the life of both of them. He also has a secret objective to carry out which is morally questionable.

Joesph Gordon-Levitt does a good job of mimicking the mannerisms of Bruce Willis and thanks to some subtle prosthetics even looks like him in certain shots. That said in others he looks quite strange, with eyebrows that rival those of Groucho Marx! Once again he proves himself more than worthy of being a leading man after Brick and his supporting role in The Dark Knight Rises earlier this year. Bruce Willis does what Bruce Willis Does best in this film; He delivers stinging quips while being a gun-toting bad-ass.

There are good performances from Paul Dano as a Looper friends of the young Joe, Noah Segan as a cocksure ‘Gat Man’ trying to prove himself to the mob boss, Abe, played by Jeff Daniels. The main female lead Sara, played by Emily Blunt, is a bit of a clichéd damsel in distress trying to be strong for the sake of her son, but she is completely believable once her back story comes into the picture.

This is a slick-looking picture with really good special effects and a gripping story. The action set pieces aren’t so fast-paced that you feel lost and the dialogue really drives the story forward. Though there are a couple of times you could lose track with what is going on there is enough subtle exposition to explain it away. Even Abe admits, in a knowing piece of scripting, that “this time travel shit, it frys your brain.” There is even a horror tinged scene or two later in the film that were a real surprise.

This is, simply put, one of the best films I’ve seen this year and cannot recommend it enough.

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4 Responses to “Review: Looper”

  1. I agree with everything you have said here pretty much. Not normally a fan of Emily Blunt but I thought her performance was great. JGL was wonderful as a young Bruce Willis and can not express enough just how good I think Looper is! Easily one of the best films I have seen this year in every sense.

    • THanks very much, I liked the look of the trailer when I first saw it but had no idea just how good the film would be. I didn’t think anything could have trumped DKN or Prometheus, but this definitely did, for me!

  2. Fun film! Nice write up.

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