Running Time: 119 minutes
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Jeff Daniels, Paul Dano, Piper Perabo
Directed By: Rian Johnson
Rating: 6.5 out of 10
A hired gun is forced to decide if he should kill a time travelling older version of himself, or face the consequences.
Looper, yeah right, more like Pooper. I am just playing, but I was hoping this movie sucked so I could legitimately use that witty line. However, the movie did not blow my mind like it seemed to with everyone else. Being a Sci-Fi nerd I am sure most people will be surprised with my take but I said I would only spit truth bombs while writing so here we go. Looper is the story of Joe, a mafia hired hit man. (Also known as Loopers.) In the year 2074, the mob sends people 30 years into the past so Joe can kill them. In executing one of his killing contracts, Joe is confronted with his future self and must make a decision to kill his older self. (Known as closing the Loop.)
So this movie is suffering from awesome syndrome. If you do not know what that is, then see how director Ron Howard ends most of his movies. Awesome syndrome is when a film has a few cool scenes that make you totally forget how slow and boring the rest of the film is. (See Dark Knight Rises as an example.) My outline above is pretty confusing/vague but they do a good job of explaining Joe’s job in greater detail in the film. I liked that about this film as it takes a hard subject to do well (time travel) and breaks it down so most people should understand what’s going on. The film introduces us to the hired hit man Joe, and instantly you get a taste of what his job entails. He takes a huge blunderbuss and kills anyone the mob sends back to him. He is a killer by day, and a party animal by night as he and his fellow loopers do drugs and spend money on call girls. Joe notices that many of his coworkers seem to be closing their loops lately until that fateful day when he is faced with an older version of himself. His indecision to kill his older self leads to a cool story line. The young Joe is a care free killer who wants to travel the world and see the sights. The older Joe is a settled down man who comes back to the past to complete an unknown task. Having to chase down the older version of yourself must be a weird feeling and that is not lost on the viewer. The two of them are locked in a death battle where every thought and memory affects each of them in different ways because of the altered timeline. If that isn’t enough they are both being chased by the mafia who want them both dead.
The younger Joe is played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He is good in an action role but they have altered his face to make him look like Bruce Willis. Most people will find this a cool angle but I found it highly distracting. He looks like Bruce Willis in a manufactured type of way and I never got used to it. The older Joe is played by Bruce Willis and this dude never seems to age. He is almost 60 and he is kicking ass and shooting up bad guys like he is 20 years younger. The two of them work well together as they shoot their way out of many a tight spot.
Younger Joe ends up on a farm as he contemplates his next move and the film just drags and drags as the storyline unfolds. You forget the awesomeness of the film and try to keep your eyes open as they explain the older Joe’s task. While the story lulled me to sleep I got to thinking about how poorly the Sci-Fi in this film is put together. The writers just thought up of cool things that would look good visually but were odd choices when you really think on it. Humanity invents time travel, they invent cool mind altering drugs that are administered through the eyeball, and they even have hovering motorcycles. Then on the flip side they use old fashioned guns like a blunderbuss to kill people? The most confusing story angle is for some reason a small percentage of the population gains small telekinetic properties that is haphazardly added to the film. It all meshed together to make and odd story. However, everything can be overlooked as the film plays itself out. Young Joe kills some people and old Joe kills many people.The intertwining timelines allows for some cool effects to happen, like new scars and memories that weren't there before. As the film winds down to a classic confrontation it will impress most people in its execution if not its design. So in conclusion the gunfight and Sci-Fi elements were awesome, but the film was slow and the story seemed forced.
Director and writer, Rian Johnson, did a great job with this film even though he made some odd choices. He was able to make a time travel movie with few inconsistencies and made it fun in the process. The two stories of a younger and older version of the same man was genius. The film was a mish mash though and very slow for long stretches. He is fairly new as a director so with some polishing hopefully he can shore up some of those issues in the future. Overall the effects, story, and action were cool so ultimately he did a good job.
I give this movie a recommendation to people looking for something outside their normal comfort zone as it will appeal to many.
T Factor + If you like Sci-Fi then this could score higher on the rating scale.
T Factor – If you do not like long built up stories then this could score lower on the rating scale.
If you liked this film reel recommendations: Serenity, Star Trek.