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Review: Looper – a complete nose-dive

By River Reporter Oct 1, 2012

If you are a fan of action-thriller, adrenaline-pumping, tough-guy movies of the RocknRolla type, you should go watch Looper, and then walk out by the time Emily Blunt appears.

This has nothing to do with Emily Blunt herself, she does a decent job in this film, it is the plot of the movie from here-on-out that I have a problem with. You might want to stick around a bit so you do not miss the scene where Bruce Willis goes all Die Hard on the bad guys (or is he the bad guy? It is hard to tell) but then it is time to go. This is when a very modern-day (try circa 2072 ) sci-fi hit-man thriller gets made into a sappy ‘let’s save the misunderstood children’-film. Personally I usually prefer the last kind as I mostly covered my eyes for the first part of the movie, removal of limbs and blood splatter is a bit too much for me.

With this film, however, it felt like director and writer Rian Johnson started out making a cool, futuristic mafia story and then changed his mind half-way through because he discovered the joys of being a father or something of the sort.

In the beginning I really enjoyed the world Johnson created and his story where 2042 hit-men, called Loopers, kill men sent back by 2072 mobs. In 2042 time travel is not yet invented (a lot of other cool stuff is though) but the Loopers are organized by Abe who came back from the future to run this lucrative business.  The Loopers live a rock and roll lifestyle with drugs, alcohol, strippers, and executing gagged and hooded strangers that appear in front of them at a given time and location. It is all fun and games until the mysterious Rainmaker decides to “close all the loops” in 2072. This effectively means a looper ends up killing his future self, he gets a handsome pay for it and spends the rest of his life partying, knowing he only has 30 more years to live.

When we see Joseph Gordon-Levitt (present Joe) faced with killing his future self he is presented with a hoodless man who escapes. Letting your future self escape means Abe will kill you, then consequently your future self will disappear and the problem is solved.

Bruce Willis (future Joe) has already lived the 30 years you get after killing your future self, but he has come back to save his 2072 wife from being killed by the Rainmaker. This is all time-travel brain-fry with future, present, and past selves but Johnson makes it work. I was excited and thought maybe Looper could be this decade’s The Matrix

It all went wrong when he decided to betray the gangster-audience to please the happy-ending lovers. My flat mates disagree with me and call it “character development” but I do not feel the outcome of the movie has a strong enough background-story to be convincing. It lacks the elements in Inception that keep you guessing long after the film has finished and the thrill of Matrix that makes you yearn for a sequel. It is a shame really, because I thoroughly enjoyed watching the first part of Looper through the cracks of my fingers. 

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