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|Index||651 reviews in total|
The Short: A twisting science fiction thriller with brains, brawn, and
originality that doesn't disappoint in the slightest.
Looper. Where to begin? Rian Johnson has directed an incredibly quality science fiction film that is truly original. It starkly goes against the grain, focusing on strong characters and an unique premise to drive forward one of the more intense and perplexing sic-fi action films since 2009's incredible genre bender District 9.
The first great element of Looper are the characters. Both main characters, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis, are complex character studies and are anything but the cut and dry sci-fi heroes (or anti-heroes) we have seen lately from other films (such as the recent Dredd). The true surprise here is kid actor Pierce Gagnon, who no doubt has a bright and versatile acting career ahead of him. Emily Blunt plays a great character as well, both strong willed and independent. The chemistry of all these actors is very strong on screen, and it truly makes for one completely unexpected but incredibly well presented casts that is serious, funny, intriguing, and scary all at the same time.
The true, and albeit unexpected, success is the incredible plot. It is told with finesse, executed and told in a manner that is both complex but comprehendible - it puts the latest box-office success films to shame. The time traveling premise is and old story telling feature, but Looper uses the time travel premise very differently and to a great effect - it's both perplexing and entertaining to see where the movie is going to go next. It is no doubt complex, but the way the story is told and presented is ingenious and leaves no one behind.
And with all the amazing premise and creativity of Looper, it would be easy to simply let all of the artistic value be a side thought. But Looper goes against the grain even in this area. While being tremendously entertaining, Looper is never short of being artistic - it is directed with attention paid in all departments.
With all of the brilliance this film offers, it must stumble somewhere, right? Aside from a mildly cheesy part and a minimalist backdrop (both subjective opinions), Looper is darn near perfect. The only nagging flaw that Looper has is some decidedly understated scenes that, in comparison to the rest of the film, feel low budget. But in context of the plot the cheesiness is explained thoroughly and makes sense, and the intended display of a darker, but much more approachable and realistic future (and a scary one) for a wider range of audiences, Looper delivers.
And everything else in-between is just as good. The action is strikingly violent and explosive, but none the less realistic and important to the main character of Joe and his metamorphosis throughout Looper. There is one rather strong scene of innuendo, but again it's used artistically - it's a huge character turning point for Joe and a massive stray away from his current life - one that he so desperately is conflicted to live.
In the end, Looper is a redemption story. One of sacrifice, death, life, and choice. It's anything but the cut and dry we have come to know and accept in film lately, and Looper is a refreshing science fiction action that has smarts and character to boot. The only nagging flaw are just a handful of low budget scenes that needed more umph.
Despite that single gripe, Looper is without a doubt the best science fiction film since District 9 and most likely the best time traveling movie ever made.
Strong Recommendation - 4/5
I enjoyed this film a lot; you have to open your mind and travel back
in time to when you were young and your mind was always open. The film
needs the observer to take a loop, sorry, leap of faith because it does
take some liberties with realities. It's full of exuberance, panache
and loopholes but the plot contrivances don't bear up too well against
Baddies from 2074 dispose of their enemies by sending them back through time to be shot dead and incinerated in 2044. It would be too easy to send them straight into the furnace. The main character is momentarily nonplussed when his future self (Old Brucie) is sent back for slaughter leading to (both their) getaways from the 2044 baddies. The emphasis shifts slightly from time travel to telekinesis obviously embracing 12 Monkeys, Source Code and even Children Of The Corn. It's a bloody two-dimensional chase, with even a motive for the ultimately pointless murder of two innocent children sympathetically portrayed and glossed over. The cgi cartoonery department were overused here too, what with suspended objects monetary or animate floating around but Inception did it better. Also if a baddie from the future was chopped up in 2044 his 2074 self wouldn't be seen to fall apart dramatically limb by limb surely? By the end no matter how tender hearted the story has got you don't feel that interested in any of the characters, even to speculating how they obviously thought time could be changed just for themselves and no one else. Didn't any of them see Joan Collins in the original Star Trek for the logic to be explained simply? And on.
Engrossing, always interesting, well made and a current-time passer, thoughtful only don't think about it too much. And no, I don't want the 2 hours back.
Seriously disagree with the many reviews trashing this movie. Yes, the
basic premise is idiotic- sending people back in time to be killed, but
watching the relationship between Gordon-Levitt and his older self
Bruce Willis is loads of fun, Gordon Levitt is becoming the go-to young
actor for action flicks ("Shutup, kid")- he plays the young Bruce
stupid: even after there is no reason to kill his older self, he keeps
trying as though it's a point of honor. Yes, the paradoxes of time
travel are unresolvable- EVERY movie has huge holes- don't let it
bother you. It is so entertaining I saw it again 2 days later (very
rare)- it helps to understand the convoluted plot- watching one
target's fingers and limbs disappear as his younger self is butchered
in the past is viscerally chilling, but I missed it the first time.
Emily Blunt is solid, sexy, and very credible; and Jeff Daniels has a meaty role as mob kingpin manager of the past.
I liked it. OK, there were plot holes. But the acting and execution of
the film did the magic trick and I didn't really notice them.
There is an art to film making and it speaks of a world where Superman can fly, Luke Skywalker can wave a "light sabre" and deflect laser bullets etc.. We don't question that at the time because we accept the craft and skill of the film maker.
He pulls that rabbit out of the hat - and he does it in such a way that we want to believe that he really did do something magical as opposed to discussing the impossibility of the physics behind the act.
That is what separates a good film from a bad one. Its so well crafted that we ignore the inconsistencies and withhold our skepticism.
Wow now this is an awesome great movie with story and action to excess
in this futuristic mob movie. I must say first that I am a huge big
time fan of Django Unchained and was pleased with its Oscar win for
best original screenplay and than I realized "wait a second where the
hell is Loopers best original screenplay Oscar nomination" I was
completely shocked that it wasn't nominated a clever thriller with a
good screen writing.
If you haven't seen this movie yet go WATCH it now it is a very good movie with the a great story to it. However if I had to say what the best movies of 2013 were the following would be my list. 1.Django Unchained 2. Looper (didn't really get released in theaters in 2013 but was considered a 2013 movie) 3. Argo 4. Seven Psychopaths 5. The Dark Knight Rises (how was this not nominated for an Oscar)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There are a few of the persistent criticisms of Looper that genuinely
The biggest of them is that the plot device of the 'looper' is arm-wavy in the extreme, and doesn't stand up to close scrutiny; a lot of whether you can like or not like the film will depend on whether it falls for you at that hurdle or not. It's basically never entirely clear why it's so difficult to dispose of future bodies that time-travel is a preferable alternative (along with a host of other things, like "why send them back alive?" and "how is it that only the mob has this technology?" and "why have 'loopers' close their own loops?"), so you have to either decide to suspend disbelief for that or not.
It has also been pointed out that (this is a SPOILER) having Old Joe kill a toddler on his Terminator-esque mission to assassinate an evil criminal mastermind called the Rainmaker (whose men accidentally murder his future wife in the course of trying to 'close his loop') is rather cheap upping of the ante; I think it is valid, if horrific -- and the horrific nature of it underscores that Old Joe (Bruce Willis) is *not* on a heroic mission -- but that it could have been handled better and less manipulatively.
Lastly, it's been pointed out that the women in Looper suffer from Frank Miller Syndrome: they're almost all some variant of prostitute or junkie (current or former) with weird issues around motherhood. That isn't good and it gets distracting once one notices it.
The other common gripes about the movie look to me like cases of viewer inattention than flaws in the film itself. The time travel mechanics are straightforward and make perfect sense, the filmmakers make a good decision in having the characters *not* spend the whole movie explaining time travel to one another (much less the politics and socioeconomics of the setting -- no thank you, two-hour features are not a good venue for that). The action is appropriate and for the most part refreshingly restrained, and the one scene that isn't restrained is illustrating a specific point (about the relative back-woodness of Young Joe's Kansas mob operation that's been repeated throughout).
Some people complain about suspending disbelief for telekinesis, but it's no more or less science-fantasy territory at this point than time travel is; others complain that there were "two movies," one about time travel and one about TK, but that is false (TK is the Chekov's gun of the setting, mentioned earlier on and primed to go off by the third act, and is a good shorthand for the expansion of human potential). The cinematography is stunning, the performances (barring a few false notes from Emily Blunt) are excellent -- especially Gordon-Leavitt's Young Bruce Willis homage, which manages not to be an impersonation -- the story is involving, and on the whole I recommend it.
This movie is excellent. If you enjoy Sci-Fi, mysterious, action-packed thrillers I highly recommend it for you. Joseph Gordon Levitt has solidified himself as one of the decades most entertaining actors with this film- With help from a perfectly casted Bruce Willis and all around great supporting actors. The TRUE thing that made this movie stand out from others was its creativity. Brian Johnson (The Director & Writer) developed a whole new realm of reality where time travel becomes an issue with people's improper use. The movie like a rope that you keep following through twists and turns, which you later solve with the awesome revelation of the mystery. If you love movies that make you think creatively and cause you're imagination to run ramped, then you MUST check this movie out. Some movies I won't be interested throughout the whole film, however this movie was different. Well done Mr. Johnson. Overall an excellently creative movie which will have you thinking afterwards (:
Movies about time travel are actually quite easy to make. What isn't so
easy however is making a good one. The 'Back to the Future' trilogy
uses this device really well. To keep things interesting, the
filmmakers should try something fresh with the concept. Enter filmmaker
Rian Johnson, who by this point had directed two feature films.
'Looper' is his first foray into Science Fiction and deals with time
travel. What could have been routine and forgettable is instead
compelling and multilayered.
Pros: First rate performances. Cool direction. Sharply written. Breathtaking score. Beautiful cinematography. Nice production design. Some good effects. A few nice twists and turns. Well paced.
Cons: Drags in the middle a bit. Some holes.
Final thoughts: Lately, some Action and Science Fiction films have been underwhelming. Some just don't stand out enough and instead play like a rerun of great bits from other films. Though in some ways 'Looper' may remind one of classics like 'The Terminator,' it's definitely it's own movie. A lot of heart went into this and let's hope it's a sign of great things to come for the genre.
My rating: 4.5/5
Rian Johnson is fast becoming a mainstream writer/director and his movies are proving that. This film called " Looper " is also written by him. Indeed with Bruce Willis staring in this futuristic movie it's sure to become a favorite of many. The story may be difficult to follow, but then Time travel is difficult to understand. Bruce Willis is 'Joe', a retired American Hit-man or 'Looper', living in China with his wife. Reflecting on his life, he becomes aware, his wife will become a victim of a sinister character known as 'The Rainmaker', who is the head of the strongest gang in the future, due to his powers of Telekensis. When Joe decides to prevent the future event, he discovers that the 'looper' he must stop is himself. Things really get disorienting when Joe goes back in time to meet and talk with 'Joe the younger' to try and change the past. The movie is a highly charges with danger and dark futuristic excitement as a man chases himself through the wet streets of the city in an effort to stop the future from happening. It makes for good drama and soul searching events when one realizes that one cannot change what already exists. The cast is extremely top notch and includes Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt and Jeff Daniels as Abe. Recommended. ****
I like science-fiction and in particular plots involving time-travel
but with this film was too much put off by the for me, over-complicated
plot and unlike-ability of the lead character in all his incarnations.
That main character, played largely by Joseph Gordon-Leavitt is a futuristic assassin who waits at an appointed place and time in the past to ruthlessly shoot down in cold blood, bound and blindfolded mob victims conveniently sent back in time to be dispatched by time-travel controlling gangsters.This routine of ritual murder was played out too many times for me to be effective and actually ended up being offensive. Moreover, Leavitt's character gives you no other reason to care for or even like him, living a hedonistic drugs and girls-fuelled life-style. Just when you think he's about to show a degree of loyalty to a hunted-down friend and colleague, he obligingly turns him in under hardly the strongest of intimidation by admittedly still imposing gang master Jeff Daniels.
Things get further complicated when he encounters his future-self, played by Bruce Willis, out on a back-in-time mission to take out the infant who has later grown up to be the murderer of his wife. Said child is cooped up in a rambling wooden house Deepintheheartofnowhere,being brought up in between violent mood-swings by his tomboy, gun-toting young mom. The story lines converge around a surprising twist at the end, but not before a lot of hootin' and-a-shootin' takes place.
I tried really hard to keep up with the plot but kept getting skewered by awkwardly-placed events of little apparent relevance or merit, particularly a gratuitous out-of-nowhere sex scene between Leavitt and Blunt, the possible incestuous overtones of which don't bear thinking about.
Like I said earlier, none of the characters evoked any sympathy or even interest in me and I found the violence brutal and over-bearing, deadening my faculties long before the end. It's set up of course for old-hand Willis to steal the show, tooled up like it was the 80's again, but I'm not sure there was much of a show here to steal in the first place.
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