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Looper
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Reviews & Ratings for
Looper More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Incoherent nonsense

3/10
Author: Campbell Brown
10 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The many reviews praising Looper as "intelligent" misled me to expect one of those very rare things in Hollywood: a consistent, coherent time-travel film. But in fact this movie makes little more sense than Back to the Future. While I can forgive time-travel nonsense in frivolous films like Back to the Future, it is excusable in a film like Looper with pretensions of seriousness. The basic premise, about looping and "closing your loop", is quite clever and got my hopes up. But the plot soon descends into stupidity -- the explanation of memories given by Bruce Willis's character is especially dumb.

Film-makers should be forced to read some philosophy of time travel (e.g. the excellent work of David Lewis), and to demonstrate they have understood it, before they are let near a time travel story.

For a consistent time travel film (starring Bruce Willis), I recommend 12 Monkeys -- so much better than this loopy rubbish.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

dreadful! disappointing! boring!

2/10
Author: msbobbin from United Kingdom
8 February 2013

Confusing and unconvincing storyline, that never really gets started,just kind of limps along and never builds a sense empathy between the audience and the characters. This is probably because there's no meaningful background established to the key players - who were they and how did they end up in this situation isn't focused upon. The movie also has sections of unnecessary repetition, when they simply could have fast forwarded in time to 30 years later. The actions scenes are restrained in terms of visual impact, while there's little or no humor and no opportunity for the actors to shine.No captivating or special moments or even scenes where there was a glimmer of something more inspiring, intriguing or interesting.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Old Joe (Bruce Willlis) has a lot more charisma than young Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt)

5/10
Author: msroz from United States
8 February 2013

Time travel involves paradoxes that cannot be resolved. Time travel is impossible. That doesn't stop entertaining time travel stories from being concocted, but they will always have plot holes and impossible inconsistencies. I like these stories as much as the next person.

In this one, criminals from the future (2074) send their enemies back to the past (2044) to be executed by "loopers". Sometimes they send back the future looper, who is then executed by his present looper self. Clearly impossible, but who really cares? Sometimes a present looper does not carry out his contract, and then he's hunted down and punished.

Bruce Willis (in 2074) manages to escape the criminals who are binding him up to send him back. He goes back on his own and manages to escape being executed by his young self (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Willis is intent on killing the young version of a future nemesis named the "Rainmaker".

This is all more than ample of a plot to build an action movie upon. The actual screenplay, however, is sadly defective in at least three ways. First, it fails to elaborate on the time travel aspects. Second, the story grinds to a halt and focuses on a woman living on a farm whose son has telekinetic powers and who will become the "Rainmaker". Third, the script jumps right into scenes and doesn't use enough "small" scenes and points of view to generate suspense. The director is probably also responsible for this major omission. Was budget-cutting involved in these omissions or simply ignorance of how to create tension? When I see scenes moving slowly in one set and being dragged out for no dramatic reason, I'm inclined to think that the film makers literally do not know how to make a movie. Countless old movies would show them how to film and edit movies in order to keep the story going, while also building character and interest simultaneously.

That's not all that's wrong with this movie. Basically, it's a "cold" and uninvolving picture, with the exception being Bruce Willis and some good settings at times. We know almost nothing about the bad guys in 2044, and even less about them in the future. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a junkie executioner. His character is cold and unsympathetic to begin with, and his portrayal does nothing to relieve these characteristics. Only when Willis shows up does the film come more to life. Otherwise, the film makers seem intent on showing us one person after another being blown away by the looper's blunderbuss.

The net result of all this is a mediocre film, not intelligent, not earth-shaking, not profound in any sense, and not even average.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

silly but entertaining enough

6/10
Author: zee from United States
30 January 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In this fictional world, it's 2044 and all the advances that feminism wrought in my lifetime have apparently disappeared. While there are killers, enforcers, workers, drivers, and all sorts of people on the streets, they are all male (and mostly white); women can be either a) exotic dancers/hookers with no hearts of gold or b) drug-addicted mommies. Otherwise, it's a world of, by, and for men.

One man is a professional killer who kills people (who have done we know not what and may or may not deserve death) from the future who are sent back in a one-way time machine, controlled only by organized crime and used only for that one purpose. (Which is like having a laptop and using it only as a paperweight, but whatever. It's your laptop; do with it what you will.) Eventually, and for reasons not explained, the criminal organization decides to retire the hit men by sending their old versions back and having the hit men kill their old selves, and then they can retire, knowing they'll be dead in 30 years at their own hand.

Quickly, questions popped up:

1) Why retire your good, trained workers at their prime? 2) Why not kill them immediately? Or when they start getting sloppy? Why let a disgruntled downsizing victim run around for 30 years, angry at you? 3) Why have them kill themselves--won't any killer do? Doesn't killing yourself just up the revenge factor? Have them killed, and send a note- -doesn't that make more sense?

and so on. The plot makes no sense at all, really, but I turned off my brain and went along for the ride, which was pleasant and diverting enough, paced well, with action interspersed with character moments.

Eventually the hero encounters the mother of a little boy who is destined to become another crime kingpin and he has Magical Powers, which he is forced to use to defend himself because his mother is stupid as dirt and, in a dangerous world where attack by killer hobos is possible at any time, she loads her shotgun with rock salt rather than shot. So the kid has to be violent to compensate for her idiocy. (Some mother!) But we're supposed to like her, and she's the madonna to counterbalance other females who function only as whores, blahblahblah.

I was never bored, though my BS meter was steadily going off in the back of my mind with "hey but what about...": logical problems with the set- up and plot. At the end, I find I liked none of these characters, not even the little kid (actually, most particularly the little kid), nor the inept mother with the rock salt in her gun, nor the old looper whose mission is logically impossible if you think about it for two minutes nor the young looper who isn't at all admirable either, after selling out his only friend for cash. So the big dramatic ending had no emotional effect on me. Either these two would die or those two, or maybe all of them, and since I cared for none of them, any ending would have sufficed for me. The traditional redeeming sacrifice left me stone cold.

The scene with the disappearing body parts was cool in a kind of sick way. And I was entertained for awhile. To enjoy it the most, check your brain at the door before watching.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Meh

5/10
Author: WritersWatcher from United States
7 January 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

**Spoiler Sauce** I'll start out with my spoiler; you will think this movie is overrated before it is over. The reason this is a 5/10 is that there are plenty of movies that suck on a much higher level. But the reason that I hate myself for giving it a number greater than 1 is that so many different friends and media touted this film and promised my enjoyment. Well, as I suspected, you were all wrong again. It should be noted that in general all I need to hear is the slightest hint of evidence that there are going to be objects suspended in mid air via the mind's power, magical/super powers, or any supernatural presence before I look to the next film. Call me crazy, but I like things that are actually possible in my entertainment. With that said, we'll agree to differ on preferences because that is what makes us all unique after all. Long story short, this film starts with potential, gets you intrigued, and then pulls the rug right out from under you. Going in you are ready for some time travel so we've already made one sacrifice of reality and that's OK. But then they just smack you in the face and I couldn't help but hear the writers mocking me internally, "oh OH you thought this was gonna be bout time travel. Sorry, it's about a little kid with super powers and SURPRISE SURPRISE the kid ends up being him who's actually Bruce Willis who was dead the whole time"...right that was the last stupid plot twist that anyone cared about SO predictable. The instant that little 'rainmaker' started 'making rain' I immediately made a deal with myself: "if this little runt turns out to be the 3rd rock from the sun kid/Willis I'm going on a tirade against everyone who suggested this garbage. Sure enough, they disappointed me and sprinkled some telekinesis as if they spent millions of millions of dollars on some sick Hollywood inside joke which was designed to annoy me. The only thing I'm happy about is that I got this over with and I don't have to think about it anymore

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Full of paradoxes

5/10
Author: WatchedAllMovies from United States
7 January 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The premise is future gang would send victims 30 years into the past to be murdered so the body could be more easily disposed of.

Right off the bat I can think of all sorts of illogical thing with this. If the gang can do this, why not just buy stocks or lotto in the past when they already know the winning numbers and make money in the future. Why do anything messy like killing people? Also, why don't they just send victim into the past inside a volcano or something. No need to hire loopers to kill them.

If you can time travel, using it to kill people is a very stupid use of the machine.

There are other paradoxes like one person appearing twice at the same location at the same time.

And why do they use two very different looking actors to play the same person at different ages? Using makeup effect to age the actor would be better.

Even ignoring all the paradoxes, the story is just average. When combined with the paradoxes, it is a below average movie.

To its credit, it is engaging to watch; I didn't have the urge to fast forward or skip anything while watching. The kid actor is very good.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Has its moments but mostly it is ideas without cohesion, flow or spark

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
6 January 2013

Looper was compared (by some, but not many) to The Matrix and Inception in terms of it being a smart film supposedly based on ideas and, to a point I suppose it is. The plot sees hit men recruited in the near future to kill and dispose of people the mob want out of the way; the twist being that these hit men exist many years before the hits need doing and the mob are sending the victims back to be killed and disposed of because in their future getting rid of bodies is apparently very difficult. These hit men are very well paid but, at some point they will do a final contract – their futures selves – at which point they are well paid off and allowed to life out the rest of their lives until the point where they become that person who is sent back to be killed. When Joe is sent back to be killed by himself though, he has other plans, sparking a race to change the future and the present.

It sounds like it could have been a smart film but unfortunately the delivery from concept to filming is lacking. In terms of the ideas it is important not to think too hard about them or else the wheels will immediately fall off – even the idea that mob would have a time machine but not be using it for many other better ideas is one, but there are many others. The story unfolds with messy coincidence and a real lack of cohesion with many ideas and tones banging up against each other in a way that doesn't work – the film never seems to settle into a rhythm or flow and it is quite hard to watch as it is so uneven. I was surprised by how little spark there was to it as well – the filming style seems to be deliberately slow and moody, but the material doesn't support this approach, meaning that the unintended consequence is that the story seems lethargic and quite dull. It still has its moments but mostly it bored me.

The characters and actors don't help. I understand why they wanted Gordon-Levitt to look as much like Willis as possible, but, as impressive as the transformation is, it is endlessly distracting – and considering how much more disbelief I was being asked to suspend by the rest of the film, I don't think it would have been a massive stretch to accept him as he is. The transformation into Willis also hurts Gordon-Levitt's performance as it is so much impersonation that he loses the character; it is excellent in terms of impersonation of mannerisms, tone and the like but there is no character here. Willis doesn't present one either and is so-so. Blunt is more interesting and at least has more to do than Perabo, although the latter will be more memorable to some viewers.

Looper has some good ideas in here but they are presented without much cohesion, flow or spark. The tone of the film is all over the place and it never really got me engaged as it should have done and the manner of the ending suggests they had that as their first idea and sort of pieced it backwards from there. It is a very average film at best.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Takes an old idea and moves in an unexpected direction with it.

9/10
Author: dusksky from Canada
3 January 2013

Time travel. It has fascinated people for years. What if we were able to control the future through the past. Lots of movies, books, TV shows, etc. have been made about it. And here's the thing.

It doesn't exist.

And because it doesn't exist, we don't actually fully understand how it works. We all have our theories, but nobody could actually tell you the exact outcome of going back in time and killing baby Hitler. This is important, because I've heard a lot of people saying that their are plot holes because "Time travel doesn't work that way." Sure it doesn't. We have no idea how time travel works. And so, movies like this are made, presenting ideas in an artistic format. The characters themselves fully acknowledge that they, people who are living in a time when time travel exists, don't fully understand it.

Any movie that dares to tackle time travel will run into a few plot holes. The real sign of how good a movie is is how much the plot holes detract from the viewing experience. In this case.... I'd say none.

Now that I've tackled a problem, to the review:

A futuristic assassin (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Joe, who kills people sent back in time from when time travel exists one day encounters his future self. As one of his targets. His future self (Bruce Willis) manages to escape and the man hunt begins. What's more, in the future, a powerful person called "the Rainmaker" is in total control and actually killed future Joe's wife. Because of this, future Joe sets off to kill the Rainmaker, who is still only a child at this point. Younger Joe gets a hold of one of the possible addresses and stakes out a farm house, occupied by a tough young woman, Sara (Emily Blunt), and her son, Cid (Pierce Gagnon), one of the potential Rainmakers.

Obviously, this film takes on some of the Terminator films' vibes. But even though parts of the plot seem familiar, (killing someone who in the future will become evil, future and past meeting, etc.) the movie takes a very different route. Instead of being predictable, the characters and set-up create a maze of possible plot-lines, follows one, and leaves the audience to guess at different outcomes.

The absolute best part of this film is the characters. The effort put into writing them, making them all plausible and sympathetic, is wonderful. All of the main characters are fleshed out and feel very real. They follow arcs and grow and change. The acting, which of course is what brings the characters to life, is flawless, even from the young Pierce Gagnon. Child actors can be tricky, but he manages to play a character who is innocent, yet dangerous (a difficult part for anyone) with full believability and intensity. Emily Blunt gives a particularly interesting performance, playing both a tough, strong care-giver and a frightened and alone person. And Bruce Willis (an old favourite) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (younger, but with a similarly impressive career both in front and behind him) play off each other as the same person with two very different mind-sets in a truly delightful way.

I've heard some complaints that the movie isn't the one the trailers showed. I, for one, liked this. Trailers have a bit of a blind spot of giving away everything. They tell the whole story within a few moments and make seeing the movie boring. If all the plot twists are in the trailer, then why bother seeing the film? Trailers are there to entice you. And Looper's trailer did.

This film is original, interesting, and dynamic. But don't take my word for it.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Not very good.

5/10
Author: virindra from Netherlands
2 December 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I love time travel movies. So I had to watch this one. I did not like looper very much. There is little action. Acting was good. Joseph did his best to look like Bruce Willis and that worked out very well. But because Joseph had a bigger part than Willis, I asked myself why this was not worked out the other way around.

The movie is about Loopers who kill people who are sent to them from the future. Spoiler: they even have to kill their own selves, but the thirty years older version of themselves. And there's where they lost me. Why do they let a looper kill his thirty years older version? That's very stupid. That's asking for trouble. The best way to deal with this, is to let an other looper kill an other looper.

The whole deal about this looper thing is because in the future they don't kill people. So they send people to the past and let the killing be done by these loopers. So why did they kill this Asian girlfriend of Willis? Why didn't they kill Willis as well? This movie has flaws. When you are thinking this movie is about the loopers, we get introduced to this rainmaker and his younger version. What happens to this boy in the future, remains a riddle at the end. The ending is very disappointing. It ends in an anticlimax. There is this silence and the screen gets black. Although it is original, it is not an ending of an action movie. People left the cinema in a sort of distress. Asking themselves, was this really the promising movie that turned out to be disappointing?

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

What a waste of potential

6/10
Author: bron1701-747-365085
6 November 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was really looking forward to this film, but I was disappointed.

Great actors. Fascinating ideas. Then it loses the plot completely.

It's like Terminator meets X-Men in a jumbled mess.

I'm surprised it's rated so highly.

It was incredibly violent, and therefore I found, unpleasant to watch, and there was nothing to lighten the mood--no wit, no humour, little hope.

I don't think the second storyline should have been introduced at all (the X-Men meets Terminator bit with the Rainmaker). It was a crazy tangent, and both ideas have been done much better in other movies.

It would have been far more interesting if they just stuck to the original Looper premise. There was plenty of potential there, but the film abandoned it instead of exploring it further. I really don't know what they were thinking.

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