Sunday, January 20, 2013

Review: Looper

Directed by Rian Johnson

Bruce Willis - Old Joe
Xu Qing - Old Joe's Wife
Joseph Gordon-Levitt - Joe Simmons
Emily Blunt - Sara Rollins
Paul Dano - Seth Richards
Frank Brennan - Old Seth
Noah Segan - Kid Blue
Piper Perabo - Suzie
Jeff Daniels - Abe

Looper is set in the near future.  It starts with a voice over saying that time travel hadn't been invented yet but would be in 30 years.  It would immediately be made illegal so the only ones to use it is organized crime.  

Loopers are hired by a shadowy crime syndicate.  Their job is to kill agents sent back in time by their employers in the future.  

Simmons' world starts to break down when the agent sent back from the future is himself from the future. The older version of Joe avoids being shot and sets off to kill the younger version of the syndicate boss in the future.  

Time travel movies with similar plots are very uncommon mainly because of the juggling you have to do with time lines and characters.  Most that try fail miserably.  But Looper seems to keep all the "balls" in the air and do it reasonably.  Levitt fumbles around at time, but Willis is bankable.  His character is singularly driven in Looper and Willis comes through as believable though it is difficult to re-council him as the older version of Joe Simmons.  There are scenes intercut that show old Joe being ruthless, plus we see young Joe doing the same.  So there is plenty of character drift for sure.  Also the tech is a bit hard to envision from present day.  Plus the take over of Society in the short period described is pure fantasy in my mind.  But that is nit picking.  The bleakness and hopelessness is certainly well portrayed.  

So as a movie and a science fiction movie I think, it is worth checking out.  The rental DVD / blue ray then is certainly worth checking out.  However the rental has no extras so if you are like me, this is something that I feel is important so I feel like something is missing...But the movie itself is worth checking out.  Willis and Levitt are competent.  


kallamis said...

Thanks for the review. Being a complete and total time travel freak myself, I was hesitant for just the reasons you pointed out.
I mean Doc is one thing. (plus he is the Lord of Time). And even there we have the no crossing time line deal.
And before I run off with what I think about time travel, and start beammeup war # ???? LOL. I'll say thank you, and now I'll see the movie.
One question though. Are they still in their timeline when they get sent back. It appears that they actually can't be. See what I mean. I just couldn't help myself there on that. With others being sent back, okay. But sending you back to die at your own hands, and then you trying to kill the younger you, leads me to believe they are jumping time lines on the send back. Multiverse theory in other words.
Maybe I should just watch the dang movie huh?

Beam Me Up said...

I could answer it but then I think that would be a spoiler of who and why.
As for the time line it is a matter of perspective I guess. I just can't answer without giving away a lot. Most of the fun of the movie is the way they mess with the time lines.

kallamis said...

I was kind of figuring that. That's cool. Plus I always love looking at new concepts of time travel. I love old concepts of time travel.
I really like finding things that could be wrong, and trying to figure out how it could actually work that way.
I even have a theory of going back, and making sure you were never born, but keeping you in existence at the same time.
Actually that came about by looking for whatever way possible to become immortal.
I know. I'm weirder than weird, and stranger than strange. Sure makes life interesting though.

radwmn08 said...

I love films about time travel and I find that you usually have to really pay attention. Looper was good but I must say I was left confused by the ending and I would love it if someone could enlighten me. I won't say anything else because some of you may not have seen this film yet. May have to watch it again but really I have my theory about the end but not sure.

Anonymous said...

To avoid spoiling the ending I will just state that if you could kill Mr. BAD then you save numerous lives. The final scene is confusing only in that actual act is probably not permissible under rules of the movie industry. You are left to assume that it happened.

kallamis said...

Hmm. Apparently I really need to watch this movie, and soon.

Beam Me Up said...

Thats why I havent made a comment yet in reply Rad.

Yes Kall, you NEED to see the film. It is NOT a back to the future bull and I can see where they really tried to avoid paradoxs except for the HUGE one at the end...... I suspect that there is only one rule for time travel...damn it Kall...I want to....I need you in this conversation.

Dan O. said...

The writing and directing are in top-notch form where everything keeps you riveted and compelled, but there was that certain element of human-drama that just seemed to be missing. I don’t know where it went or why it didn’t come to me, but it just didn’t and made me feel like I was missing out on something in the end. Nice review.

Beam Me Up said...

Yeah Dan I see where you are going...Maybe the fact that Bruce Willis' character is such an amoral piece of crap that you have trouble believing in his "tender" moments. And the movie wants to pivot on Willis instead of Levitt... Still, the weak are out-weighed by the solid that I let it ride. Asimov had the same problem all through his career.

Beam Me Up said...

Have enough people watched this yet to say anything? Everyone calls Looper a time travel movies and it is even mentioned in the film as well as we are offered evidence of that, even in first few moments. But has anyone noticed yet that they only came from one time? Something strange there. Question 2 if "closing the loop" happens often and then you have 30 years of unmolested party time...why isn't it recalled as happening early in life by ANY of the loopers? That to means something. If you watch closely there almost seems to be two young Joe timelines running concurrently. If this is so, then the ending could never have happened...but it did...what happened? How could have young Joe's last action worked and not work at the same time? (and for giggles no one seems to miss a missing reality frame) oh yeah, there is a loop going on here, just one however...

I can see why some folk are confused...they were watching a movie that they had been told was a time travel film...but ummm things just done add up... again, there seems to be a reason for that....