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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sci-fi loopy nuts are we - if you don't like spoilers don't read me
Set in the near future Looper is the story of Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a man with a gun, paid in silver bars to shoot dead those people sent back in time for assassination by a powerful criminal organisation. This is possible because although time travel has not been invented in Joe’s time (let’s call him Joe1, you’ll see why later) it has been...
Published 18 months ago by M. O. HAYNES

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars House of cards
Looper is a rather odd, uneven movie. It is as if the writer/director had a reasonable idea for a time travel tale, and a half formed idea for a telekinesis film, and decided to shove them together.

The basic concept is that Joe, played by Joseph Gordon Leavitt has been recruited by a mafia boss sent backwards in time by 30 years from 2074 to carry out hits on...
Published 7 months ago by P. G. Harris


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars House of cards, 8 Jan 2014
By 
P. G. Harris - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Looper [DVD] (DVD)
Looper is a rather odd, uneven movie. It is as if the writer/director had a reasonable idea for a time travel tale, and a half formed idea for a telekinesis film, and decided to shove them together.

The basic concept is that Joe, played by Joseph Gordon Leavitt has been recruited by a mafia boss sent backwards in time by 30 years from 2074 to carry out hits on undesirables, also sent back from the future, where it is seemingly impossible to dispose of the bodies. Eventually, as time travel itself is illegal, the hit-men are required to dispose of their older selves, receiving a pay off in the process which will allow them to live in comfort for the next 30 years. The second element of the story is hinted at by the fact that a proportion of the population is mildly telekinetic.
Joe's troubles begin when he fails to kill his older self, played by Bruce Willis.

The movie falls into three acts, firstly establishing the scenario of young Joe's life, secondly, rapidly telling the thirty year story of how he becomes Bruce Willis, and thirdly the event's after Old Joe's return, which also involve single mother, Emily Blunt, and her young son.

The 2044 in which the film is set is not one in which there has been a great deal of progress, other than the invention of levitating motorbikes. If anything it has a retro-feel reminiscent of Terry Gilliam's Brazil.

It is all well played and Gordon-Leavitt and Willis are convincing in establishing younger and older selves with similar mannerisms. It is also, while running, reasonably intriguing, with a genuine sense of uncertainty about the outcome, other than a vague feeling that it isn't going to end well (although Willis's actions mean that it is difficult, within Hollywood movie conventions, to believe that he will be allowed to win out in the end).

It is however, as I said uneven. The lumpiness of the cobbling together of the two elements is added to by the addition of gratuitous scenes which do little to advance the plot -Blunt scarcely credibly inviting young Joe into her bed, and Bruce Willis getting a scene where he fights his way out of a tight corner with a sub-machine gun in each hand, included it seems because that's what Bruce Willis does.

The problem with this film is that with a moment's consideration at the end, the whole edifice falls apart, and the problems can be summed up in to sentences.

1. There is absolutely no need for the main villain to be telekinetic.
2. As soon as the climactic events of the final scene have occurred, it is impossible for them to have occurred.

So, Looper is OK. As a DVD to watch if you've got nothing else to do, it's fine, but it's nothing special.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sci-fi loopy nuts are we - if you don't like spoilers don't read me, 24 Feb 2013
By 
M. O. HAYNES "couch magpie" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Looper [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Set in the near future Looper is the story of Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a man with a gun, paid in silver bars to shoot dead those people sent back in time for assassination by a powerful criminal organisation. This is possible because although time travel has not been invented in Joe’s time (let’s call him Joe1, you’ll see why later) it has been invented about thirty years in his future and then quickly banned, but the criminal organisation still uses a time machine illegally to send people back to be killed by ‘loopers’… They are so called because when their employment is terminated their future selfs are sent back in time to be killed by them – thus tying up loose ends and closing the loop. With me so far? Good, because it is as simple as that until future Joe (Joe2) (Bruce Willis) avoids getting shot after being sent back for assasination by Joe1 and then decides to try and find and kill the ten year old version of the man who will become the evil head of the criminal organisation called the Rainmaker. This is because Joe2 holds the Rainmaker responsible for his wife’s death.

This plot point can be compared to Terminator 2 where the T2000 is sent back to kill John Connor as an angsty teenager, although Joe2 initially appears to be a good guy and the Rainmaker a bad guy. I say initially because it soon becomes apparant that Joe2 is the villain of the piece and that the 10yr old boy is an innocent. Interestingly where Joe1 starts off as a bit of a douchbag and then comes good, the opposite could be said of Joe2; a clean version of Joe1 who has changed his life for the better and then having been forced back into a world he left behind he descends into the role of a cold hearted child killer in his attempt to change the future. The rainmaker can only be narrowed down to one of three children and so two are killed before the final showdown on Emily Blunt’s farm.

Joe1 initially wants Joe2 dead so he can carry on working for the criminals, keep earning his silver and living his drug fueled life. Although he starts having second thoughts about his life after selling out his best friend and after meeting Blunt and the boy. Joe1 then decides to protect the boy from Joe2.

It is the moral turmoil of both versions of Joe which make Looper a very interesting film. The film is less about clever special effects and technological predictions (although the film contains both) and more about three dimensional characters. In comparison to the other two films I have recently seen at the cinema, Prometheus and Total Recall, this is by far the best sci-fi film because it concentrates on plot and character development more than trying to impress with whizzy special effects and maybe because I did not go into the cinema with any great expectations. Pretty much all the characters, not just the three mains, are well rounded in that you believe they have a history even though in some cases you are not privy to extensive back stories and the three main roles are well acted by Gordon-Levitt, Willis and Blunt.

The technological predictions were subtle and not too far-fetched (except perhaps for the Star Warsy hover bikes, which were about as subtle as a brick (Brick coincidentally is a marmite film also written by Rian Johnson which I loved and everyone else hated) and seemed to appear a little out of place in near-future-land – why hover-bikes, but no hover-cars? I found myself wondering). The special effects are a little weak around the bikes, but very good when it came to the cityscapes and the effects of telekenisis.

With its telekenisis and focus on moral choices this film is similar to the stories of Philip K Dick. Anyone who follows this blog will know I am a big PKD fan and so I guess it is no surprise that I liked this film a lot.

I have two very minor critiscms. The finale is a little predictable in the context of ‘the hero’s journey’ when Joe1′s arc would be nothing without performing the selfless ultimate sacrifice to recieve his gift – that of changing the future for the better. This is a requirement of most hero tales which simply makes these tales work – other examples can be found in Avengers Assemble and The Dark Knight Rises. The only other thing is that although the boy’s performance is very good the character is a little too Omen-esque for my liking, and I kept thinking a black dog was going to turn up on the farm. That’s really all I can think of as bad points.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Familiar yet refreshing Sci-fi, 28 Jan 2013
By 
Jules (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Looper [DVD] (DVD)
Set in the year 2044, we follow Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt-50/50) who is a Looper, a hitman for a crime syndicate, whom in 2074 with the invention & outlawed time travel, send people that they want whacked & disposed of without trace back 30 years. Every so often a Looper is retired when his future self is sent back for whacking, along with retirement money for the younger self. But as a new crime lord, the Rainmaker, in that future comes to power, these retirements increase & it's inevitable then, that Joe is faced with his older self (Bruce Willis), who escapes & is determined to find & kill this Rainmaker so his own future can be secured.

Overall Looper is a good film that takes a familiar concept & turns it into something that feels different & fresh. It's engaging story entertains with a mixture of action, suspense, romance & tragedy. And it manages to do all this even when being on a low budget compared to mainstream Hollywood movies, the futuristic setting is quite laid back with more of a variation on modern day America rather then epic & expensive scale back drop effects. The main highlights of the futuristic elements were a cool hovering motorbike, big Hellboy style guns, economy time travel & a couple of well done big cinematic scenes that not doubt cost most of the budget.

The acting overall was very good, Joseph Gordon-Levitt pleasantly surprised me as the drug addicted hitman with a caring side. He does look a little odd in some shots to me, perhaps he is made to look more like Willis(?). The old guard in Bruce Willis (Die Hard) as the tormented soul who will do whatever it takes to ensure his future isn't taken away from him & Jeff Daniels (Arachnophobia) as the future mob boss sent back to oversee the Loopers are rock solid. While Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada) as the loving mother in a strained relationship with her son, played by 10 year old Pierce Gagnon embodied a performance far beyond his years. Both added an intriguing turn to the story & a great finale.

In conclusion, if you can manage to look past the time travel flaws in the story, Looper is an entertaining & interesting twist in on itself. Recommended.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Violent, oddly paced but very good, 13 Mar 2013
By 
Mr. R. D. Turner (Derby, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Looper [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This film is rated 15 - which is amazing to me. There is a fair bit of violence and an implied torture scene is chilling. There is also bad language from the off and simulated drug taking. So anyone with young teenage kids - please be aware!

That said it is a very decent film. The premise is that time travel has been invented but banned. The only people using it are criminals and they use it selectively to get rid of people. The Looper in the title is a person who carries out an execution when the person is sent back from the future. The science fiction is reasonably well thought out and used well but it serves as a backdrop to a human story.

This film works because we see the protagonist go on a journey and end up changed by the result. The mid section of the film drags a bit but the end scene works very well and I am glad I saw it.

I saw the Blue Ray edition which had good sound and very clear visuals, especially in the outdoor scenes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the better modern action films on Prime., 21 July 2014
This review is from: Looper (Amazon Instant Video)
Seriously worth watching. I hadn't bothered with it for quite some time as the premise had seemed entirely boring and unoriginal, but the film has a lot more to it that the adverts let on. Bruce Willis is very good at playing the kind of role he usually doesn't play, which is a really welcome change from the stereotypical action-hero kind of guy he usually plays. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of violence in this film, but the fact that such (sometimes brutal) violence is actually downplayed and presented in a matter-of-fact way actually makes it a much sharper film, rather than the usual action flicks which depend entirely on slow-mo death shots and closeups of main characters wrestling with their inner turmoil about "oh no what have I done etc etc". Nope. None of that here. Sometimes you don't even get to see how someone died - it's none of your business, they're dead, why are you still standing there, come on, try to keep up. Just classy, stylish, fast paced fun which will leave you suprised at just how good this film turned out to be. Just don't over-think the time travel paradoxes, the film actually makes a point of telling you to stop thinking about it and just enjoy the ride.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another twelve monkeys?, 25 May 2013
By 
No More Mr. Mice Guy (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Looper [DVD] (DVD)
This appears to be a mix of art house and violent action films, a genre which Bruce Willis seems to inhabit comfortably. It is certainly a time travel story, but also a story of character-development, driven by the experiences of both the present (though a slightly in the future dystopian present) and (further in the) future selves of the main character, who meet in the present as part of a cross-time Murder Incorporated operation that goes wrong. Criminal organisations in the far future are sending victims back to the present to be disposed of, having sent an organiser back to set up the organisation in the first place. The assassins – one of whom is our lead character in the present – eventually retire after ‘closing the loop’ by killing their future selves to remove any witnesses to the operation, and get 30 years of retirement funded by their assassination fees. Bruce Willis is the future self of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and has reformed his ways thanks to the love of a good woman he met in his future, and when his time comes to be sent back, overcomes his captors, who have killed his wife, but travels back anyway to try and change the future by killing the man who is organising the killings while he is still a child in the present, having discovered some clues to his identity. He outwits his present self and escapes into the unnamed big city. It has already been established earlier in the film that this is a bad thing, and the criminals know how to track down the escapee by torturing the present-day version of himself, with the injuries transferring to the future self, along with scars spelling out messages. This will be important later in the film… Long story short, Bruce has to kill three children to be sure of getting his future man, Joseph finds one of them first, who happens to be a powerful mutant, and falls for his mother – the child’s mother, not his own, its not that twisted a time travel film; he also sees the seeds of his own childhood possibly being replayed here if Bruce kills the mother who is covering her son’s escape, but is too far away to be stopped. Character development: Bruce is willing to kill children to stop a future mass murderer and also get his wife back; Joseph, through his interaction with Bruce and with the child and his mother has also undergone character development which changes him from his future self - but does it affect Bruce enough to change his mind? Can the loop be closed a different way?
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79 of 99 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great entertainment, 11 Oct 2012
By 
J. Potter "johniebg" (Berkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Looper [DVD] (DVD)
With a story centred around time travel and hitmen, a cast headed by Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt and very strong support from the likes of Emily Blunt, Looper has been getting a lot of press. Most of it, I thought, was very justified.

In the future, crime syndicates are so big they own the very best technologies, including time travel. When they want someone disappeared they literally do that, sending them back in time to be executed by a Looper - a contract hitman who asks no questions and takes payment in the gold and silver strapped to his victim. Joe is one such Looper, and then the hit that appears before him, is himself from the future, and he's on a mission.

From start to finish Looper enthralls. Notably for a film about time travel it doesn't dally with any of the dogma that has weighed down other movies. Looper pays time travel its due respect and gets on with the story. It looks very well made but doesn't appear to be big budget, with scant glimpses of future cityscapes. Rather it focuses on the characters and story, giving us two polished performances from Willis and Gordon-Levitt, with a stand-out from Emily Blunt that anchors the other two. My overriding sense throughout was of a captivating and visually compelling story as we first figured what the old Joe's mission was and then weighed its worth. It has been one of the most difficult stories for me to summarise because so much of what it's about is wrapped around the end.

Unfortunately the end, despite it's impact, gave up on the chance to resonate beyond the credits. Instead it moralised about our future being dependent on what we do now, with a slight of hand thrown in that invoked M. Night Shyamalan. I have no problem with moralising at all, if it fits the story. However, it's only at the end we realise key elements of the story have been stepped around to make it all pay dividends. It didn't so much leave a bad taste but a knot of disappointment that remains, having been so enthralled throughout.

Looper is a movie well worth your time. It is imaginative filmmaking at its best despite a finale that wasn't quite the sum of all it's parts.

I hope you find this helpful.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Closed Loop or Open Question?, 5 May 2013
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There is something about Philip K. Dick's short stories make great movies. From Minority Report, Total Recall, Paycheck, The Adjustment Bureau, something about ideas in his novels, but particularly his short tales, that seems to make them perfect for expanding into larger movies. That said they often undergo a change of tone in hollywood's hands. Blade Runner lost it's Mercer Boxes and electric sheep to become a film noir that focused on what it meant to live (not that I'm complaining, what a movie!) The original short story that became The Adjustment Bureau was focused on the disturbing thought that some faceless Bureaucrat somewhere was auditing your life, where the hollywood version made it a love story, where the adjusters were angels (and the Chairman, by implication, God).

Looper feels like a Philip K. Dick story. It's disturbing, it's not neat or even necessarily logical (`...that's an exact description of a fuzzy mechanism'). It has a menace to it and the ending offers hope, but no guarantees. It portrays a sort of rundown American future of the 1950s, with a modern drug scene controlled by a powerful organised crime syndicate whose future influence is already being felt. It is not a buddy movie where young Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and his older self (Bruce Willis) take on the world and right wrongs. The real point of this story is a philosophical question. If you could travel back in time to when Hitler was a child, would you kill him? What would your answer say about you?

There are great performances throughout this movie from Emily Blunt, Jeff Daniels (great as a horribly efficient, world weary gangster from the future) and Noah Segan who veers from amusing to horrifying as incompetent enforcer Kid Blue (implying that much of the evil in the world is caused by anger, fear and disappointment rather than by nihilistic hatred). Bruce Willis proves what a good actor he is by making an unsympathetic role understandable, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a compelling leading man.

The Bluray release has excellent with great picture and sound, and the steelbook version is a thing of beauty.

Some reviewers have complained that the ending is inconsistent. I disagree. The mistake that characters make throughout the movie is thinking that just one more death will sort things out. Young Joe's actions in the last scene are not only a logical consequence of situation (the limitations of the 'Blunderbuss' weapon are discussed at several points in the film), but a philosophical statement that a cycle of violence cannot end until someone decides not to strike back. Making that choice does not guarantee a happy outcome, in this film or real life, but in the end it's the only course of action that offers one.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film, average disc., 10 July 2013
This review is from: Looper [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Enjoyed this title, no question one of the better sci-fi/time-travel yarns I've seen in recent years.

As for the Blu-ray, well, some things are not quite as they should be. Picture quality is very good indeed, maybe a little over-exposed in some scenes but probably down to the source material. The audio on the other hand is dynamic...maybe too dynamic for my tastes. Dialogue was often too soft, and the score and sound effects are way too loud - I was frequently reaching for my remote to adjust the volume between scenes.

Extras consist of the usual promotional fluff, nothing to get too excited about. There's also an annoying Maltesers advert to contend with before the menu comes up - this sort of rubbish on a non-rental disc is unforgivable. At least it's easily skipped (unlike some other titles), but it places Entertainment One on my list of UK distributors to avoid in future, along with Optimum.

So a five-star film on a three-star disc. If you have a region A-capable player, get the Sony release instead, if only to avoid having to watch tacky TV adverts on a disc you paid for.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Although based as futuristic it did have twinges of the present where you cannot leave certain types of jobs/organisations when, 17 July 2014
This review is from: Looper (DVD)
It was very thought provoking, which really saddened me for a long time. Although based as futuristic it did have twinges of the present where you cannot leave certain types of jobs/organisations when you feel like it and without consequences.

After arguing with my conscience with other aspects of the movie, I came to the conclusion that I really absolutely well and truly loved the movie. I had to watch it over and over again. Some aspects were slightly predictable but others were immensely clever.
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Looper [Blu-ray]
Looper [Blu-ray] by Rian Johnson (Blu-ray - 2013)
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