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3.8 out of 5 stars
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3.8 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 8 January 2014
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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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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VINE VOICEon 11 October 2012
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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on 12 July 2016
Thanks to Amazon for providing great movie titles like these at such a substantial rate. I saw this movie on my projector on a big screen and I must say that this one did not disappoint at all.To begin, Looper is a sci-fi film set in the future, dealing with the implications of time-travel, although it is very much a film about the past. The film is all about the past, how it affects the present and the future and how it drives people with the majority of the film building characters and establishing plot.The important thing you should expect in this film is the brilliance of the concept than the action.Let me just say the less you know about the plot the better.
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on 8 October 2015
Well, it's sort of interesting in a doesn't-make-sense-but-watchable sort of way. As time-travel movies go, Twelve Monkeys, Source Code and Timecrimes leave Looper far behind though. Okay seems to sum it up.
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on 5 May 2013
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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on 25 July 2016
Just finished this film right now and I absolutely loved it. I'm a big fan of Bruce Willis although I wouldn't say this was one of his best films. The storyline is good, I got right into it but I did find it confusing at first. I wish there was another ending I wanted a different outcome for Joe and would have loved to see the RAINMAKER when he was older but hey, good plot, good acting and decent film to watch. Not a big fan of futuristic type films but this was definitely a good watch. Five out of five stars from me.
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on 21 January 2015
Pros
Interesting twists along the story
Good end
Accurate casting
Cons
Basic time travel script
Levitt's makeup is too artificial
Poor direction

I'd watch it again. Fast forward.
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on 5 November 2013
I bought this film without knowing anything about it beforehand. It was a bit confusing to start with but I watched to the end. I enjoyed it, but for me not Bruce's best. The plot involves assassins from the future killing folks in the present. Sounds bizarre but it is surprisingly a watchable film.
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on 22 July 2016
In two words: horrible. That's only one word. I guess it did not deserve two words. Big waste of resources and talent. An idea does not make a film. It also requires a storyline. Some dialogues would be nice. This is a really s*** effort. Try again.
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