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A very well made film with many practical effects used instead of
relying on CGI all the time; hats off to the filmmakers for taking that
route. Performance-wise, everyone did a great job with Joseph Gordon-
Lovett and Bruce Willis getting that majority of the screen time. I
also liked Emily Blunt as Sara, Jeff Daniels as Abe and the young
Pierce Gagnon as Cid. Although it did many things right I did feel it
was a little unevenly paced in places. It seemed to get a little bogged
down in the dialogue which slowed it down a little too much a couple of
times. Other than that I found it quite enthralling and one I'd happily
watch again sometime.
SteelMonster's verdict: RECOMMENDED
My score: 7.6/10
You can find an expanded version of this review on my blog: Thoughts of a SteelMonster.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Alejandro Carranza "Looper" Will Captivate Your Mind
I have just seen the movie "Looper" by Rian Johnson, an American director, writer and editor, and I would like to make my opinion about this incredible piece of art. This movie was released in 2012 and has been a success since the begging. "Looper" can be seen as an action, cime, and sci-fi. It is filled with intrigue and violence and it will break your mind. If I had to rate this movie, I would give it a 9 out of 10 because it very well done and the topic of was very interesting. It is not a surprise that "Looper" won 8 awards and had 23 nominations. It can even be considered as the best movie of this decade. This movie can be compared with the movie "Inception" of Christopher Nolan because of its visual effects and futuristic ideas. This movie got a 7.4 in IMDb and 9.3 in rotten tomatoes. These scores demonstrate that this movie was very good for the public and for the critiques.
"Looper" talks about time travel and how this was used by the mobs in 2074 to get rid of their enemies. They sent the person to the past to be killed because in the future, if you killed someone you would be caught easily. The assassins that killed the people in the past where called Loopers. One of them is Joe. He kills many people but one day he finds out that the company he works for wants to 'close the loop'. Closing the loop is when the company tells the looper that to kill someone and then he finds out that it is he in the future. Before shooting old Joe, he hesitates and understands that the man with the bag in his head is he in the future and decides not to kill him. The conflict of the story starts with this and then gets worse when the company he works for finds out that he didn't kill old Joe. They both then face the conflict and run from the assassins who are after them. Also, a conflict is created between old Joe and Joe that makes this task harder on them.
First of all I would like to comment about the actors performance in this movie. Joseph Gordon- Levitt who played as John, exited the expectations in this movie. He never seemed fake with his actions and was able to become the character completely. When seen this movie I was impressed with his performance and demonstrates a growth from its previous movies like "Inception" and "The Dark Night Rises". Bruce Willis, who played as Old Joe, did also an extraordinary job. It was impressive how these two actors matched perfectly and I could really feel that in thirty years Joseph would be Bruce. Bruce Willis also brought a lot of experience to this young cast and made the movie much better. Another good actress was Emily Blunt who as well as Brus and Joseph, worked incredibly and created a sense of reality in the movie.
One aspect that I could exalt about this movie was its special effects. One scene that stranded out to me was when Joe prepared the place where he would commit the executions. In here, there was an incredible effect when the person appeared from the future blindfolded with a bag in his head. Music also helped the scene to create suspense and makes it seam that time goes slower when this is happening. Also, another aspect that was very successful in this movie was the similarity that existed between Joe and Old Joe. Even though this two actors are different, the make up that was used created a sense that they where actually the same person in different years.
"Looper" teach us a very important lesson in life. This is, that every action you have has a reaction. If you act properly, good things will happen while if you act recklessly and badly there will be negative consequences. We learn this because at the beginning of the movie, Joe tells the audience that the life of the loopers was filled with joy because they got very good payment for little amount of work. This short cut, will then lead to the assured death in the future when the company 'closes the loop' or kills the looper. This means that because he chose the easier and illegal way in life, he will end up having to pay the consequences. This lesson can be applied in the every day life because you should always choose the correct paths throw life and not the easier paths. Most times, the easier paths will create suffering in the future.
The writer of this critique is Alejandro Carranza he is a student in Lincoln School from Costa Rica. He is currently in ninth grade. He is doing this film critic of "Inception" because he saw the movie in the class of Film Appreciation of the professor Pablo Morales and was asked by him to choose one movie to criticize. Alejandro enjoys watching movies in his free time. His favorite sport is soccer and he has been playing this sport all his life.
Got to be as far as I am concerned at least, the most interesting and satisfying sci-fi film that I have seen in years. Okay, there are plot elements and devices that have been used many times before. Even just having Bruce Willis in the film reminded me somewhat of Twelve Monkeys given the time travel connections, but what really set this film apart from anything that has recently preceded it was that the narrative was strong, and the characters, particularly the younger and older versions of Joe were well drawn out characters with flaws, but just enough likability to keep us rooting for them. Johnson has delivered another really cool film to add to the list of really cool films that he has already made. I wonder, seriously if there is a more interesting and fresh director out there at the moment.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Looper is a story about a hit-man paid to kill prisoners that have been sent back in time to avoid their corpses being found in the future. However, it all goes wrong for him when his future self is sent back and escapes. This film could have been an endless chase between young Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and old Joe (Bruce Willis) but fortunately it avoids this by adding a whole new dimension to the story- a mysterious young boy called Cid (Pierce Gagnon) with extraordinary telekinetic powers. The plot is well-thought-through, if sometimes chaotic and completely mind-boggling (especially after the turn of events at the end of the movie, at which point you have many questions about whether so-and-so actually died or not, or whether the people old Joe killed would still be dead) but regardless makes up a sci-fi/action epic that will keep you on your toes throughout. The acting is good enough to be convincing and allows the viewer to focus on the more important elements of the film. the script is also excellent and allows both Gordon-Levitt and Willis to experiment with their characters. Credit must also go to Emily Blunt, Cid's mother, who puts on a surprisingly good Southern-American accent and a similarly good performance. A very commendable 9/10.
Rian Johnson's Looper is an intriguing science-fiction film, with a
devotion to story and plot that is larger than competitors of its genre
within recent years. It elaborates where other films would cop-out and
purposely mystify. However, like great science-fiction, it requires
significant attention to its patterns, detail, and design - something I
underestimated prior to viewing.
For that reason alone, perhaps Looper warrants another viewing on my part, just as a refesher. Constant evaluation seems worthless, as it so often does, an a crash course-research job seems oversimplifying. I sort of just want to experience the film again on its own terms before jumping random and arbitrary theories.
I'll keep the story relatively basic; we are now in 2044 (the present), where Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) works as a "looper." A "looper" is responsible for whacking the criminals mob members send from the future, 2074. Joe will wait in an empty field when a man, masked and on his knees, will spawn in thin air like a video game character before shooting the man with a loud, ear-shattering blunderbuss. He'll proceed to dispose of the corpse in a furnace. This whole process exists because, we're told, it's much harder to dispose of a corpse in 2074 America. Apparently, it's much easier to conceal and operate a time-traveling machine (which is illegal, mind you).
A looper, inevitably, meet their fate when the mob members eventually spawn their own self thirty years into the future. This is known as "closing the loop," and is feared and unexpected in the career of loopers. Joe finally meets his older self (Bruce Willis), who he recognizes since he lacks the obligatory "mask over face" deal, and proceeds to have coffee with him in a diner and a long discussion before discovering his intentions. Later in the film, he meets Sara (Emily Blunt) and her younger brother Cid (Pierce Gagnon), two locals living on a farm that wind up getting mixed up in Joe's predicament.
A small feature that seems to have gone unnoticed by the public is the terrific makeup job conducted by a team of over twenty specialists who deserve more work in the field. The goal is to make Gordon-Levitt resemble a younger, spryer Bruce Willis, and the result is surprisingly great. Imperfections, however, such as more makeup on the character than in previous scenes, have been dually noted, but posed no distractions for someone who sometimes feels underwhelmed by scenery and makeup effects.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt does some powerful work here, further establishing that he long ago assumed the impact and power as a character actor. From sci-fi, to action, to comedy, to drama, etc, it would be an understatement to regard him as just an actor; he's one of the most diverse souls in Hollywood today. Emily Blunt is anything but typical here, assuming a role that allows her to be brash, strong, independent, and something of a role model. Another surprising feature about Looper is its treatment of supporting characters, not simply giving the little ground to walk on. Jeff Daniels is great as Abe, the main boss, and Paul Dano, another terrific character actor who just showed untold potential in For Ellen and Ruby Sparks is Seth, Joe's pal who is fearing the worst after he "let his loop run" - meaning he failed to shoot the man after spawning.
Like almost all science-fiction films, one can dissect them apart in such an unforgiving way that nothing would be left except for confusion and plot holes. I do not consider in-depth analysis to be a conventional part of my film criticisms, although I feel inclined to question aspects in a more collective manner. For instance, why can't the mob spawn the men directly into the furnace, omitting the danger and inevitable, "self-inflicted" murder a looper must commit? Also, I reiterate the question of how hard can it be to dispose of a corpse in 2074, when time-travel equipment can be made seemingly easy to access for an already criminally-run sector of the population? Has the futuristic black market become something of an incalculable empire? Looper does have a tad more explaining to do, but to its credit, its world and concepts aren't as arbitrary or as impossible as they sound. I could suspend most disbelief, much to my surprise. The future it paints isn't so much as flashy as it is attractive, detailed, and practical - like a high-resolution, digital photograph brought to life. Its crisp visuals and slick photography make it all the more captivating to watch and enjoy. One small aesthetic I, too, neglected to mention is the sound. For a science-fiction film, I was stunned at how effective it was at using auditory levels and sound editing. The use of genuine, abrupt sound is perfect when incidents like the first shot of the blunderbuss occur, or when Cid activates his extreme telekinetic powers. The effect is jarring and bombastic in the most stimulating way.
Johnson has proved himself to be a storyteller above anything with Looper as his attention and development to a world so close yet so foreign to our current one is an achievement. His writing scarcely falters and his talent as a director rarely does as well. Assisted by only competent talent and terrific uses of smaller aesthetics, Looper is a well-done science fiction endeavor that finally caters to a more demanding, unfairly rewarded demographic. I'd just love to see how the job of a looper would be marketed at a town job-fair.
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Pierce Gagnon, Paul Dano, and Jeff Daniels. Directed by: Rian Johnson.
I just had to buy Looper when I heard all the hype surrounding it. I
thought I was in luck when a friend lent me his "friend's" pirate copy,
which is something I've never actually done before and will probably
never do again in the future because the quality was what I like to
call, "floppy". Bad sound, pixelated picture, I couldn't watch such a
visual treat like Looper on that kind of quality! So I hunted Ebay and
found a dangerously cheap copy, and I'm very glad that I did. Whilst
Looper isn't the greatest sci-fi film ever made, like some people keep
proclaiming, it certainly is a solid, entertaining and gripping
adventure with a very original idea. Now, the first 45 minutes or so
did lose me slightly in certain areas with its mind-bending premise of
time-travel (which still doesn't entirely make sense), but if you just
go with it then you'll probably enjoy it as much as I did.
Now, I don't completely understand how killing your own future self would not effectively kill you, but like I said, just go with it. It's a clever idea and one I haven't seen the likes of. Of course the film is set in the future so we get all the futuristic clichés of hover-bikes and weird tall buildings (we'll have to wait until 2044 arrives, to see just how accurate everything is) but at its core, the world isn't much different to how it is now. We're introduced to our hero, a drug-addicted murderer that some how remains likable throughout. The first hour of Looper acts like a rollicking sci-fi actioner as we're introduced to the idea of loopers and get to see what happens when things get out of hand.
We all know that Bruce Willis comes back as Joseph's future self and silly old Joe lets him go! What I really liked here was that a certain sort of human element was introduced, which proved that Looper has heart as well as brain (almost like a Christopher Nolan film). We see Joseph age up into Bruce and he falls in love with a Chinese woman young enough to be his daughter (but we'll look over that) and I won't spoil the rest of it, but it certainly helps us feel some emotion for Bruce's character as we know what he's been through. There's also a great scene where Joseph and Bruce talk in a diner (reminded me of Heat) and Joseph is quite keen to shoot him. It's suspenseful stuff!
For me, the film hit its stride when Joseph meets Emily Blunt at a nice farmhouse and we hear of Bruce's heart-breaking master plan. The film completely changes pace from rollicking sci-fi action to a more gentle, yet no less thrilling, pace. Now, this will probably upset/anger sci-fi action fans, but it adds a lot of emotion to the film and a strong human element. These parts were gripping, touching and very clever. There were some brilliantly tense scenes as well as some rather wonderful special effects which I won't spoil for you. The finale was compelling and very exciting with a clever and almost inspiring ending.
Looper isn't as good as Inception. In fact, it isn't even a patch on Inception's mind-blowing brilliance, but it is a fun and entertaining ride with a lot of heart and brain. Needless to say that I really enjoyed every minute of it and I'm not into the sci-fi genre. The action was also really well shot, with no annoying shake or constant cutaways which made it all the more intense. The directing was often very impressive. I especially liked the crabbing camera motion! In the end, Looper is really worth seeing and also has good replay value. Don't go expecting Inception though!
I am normally fairly hesitant concerning time-travel movies because it
is next to impossible to get them right. They more or less always
become very unrealistic and full of paradoxes. I would almost go as far
as to say that producers making serious (non-comedy) time travel movies
are the ones that are scientifically too stupid to realise that it is
just going to be a mess, or they do not really care about the issues
hoping that the audience also will not care.
This movie is really proof of this. It is full of paradoxes and annoying "but if this happened now then that couldn't have happened then and vice versa". Maybe some people can force themselves overlooking these things but I have some difficulty doing so. I fully agree with the statement that one of the characters in the movie was making: ""This time travel crap, just fries your brain like an egg ".
Anyway, trying to pierce through the cloud of time-travel issues and enjoy the movie, it is not a bad movie. Given that it really had no chance of succeeding in the science area, or have a plot which didn't defy all logic (time travel you know) it does indeed make a valiant try to entertain. It is not one of Bruce Willies standard all-out action-filled roller-coasters. That is not to say that there is no action but there is also plenty of time for trying to actually tell the story in the movie. The movie is actually quite dark and melancholic. The future seems to be fairly dirty, run down and ridden with criminal organisations.
As if time-travel itself wasn't bad enough the story also involves 10% of the population having developed psychic powers. Most of them good for nothing except cheap show tricks like levitating small objects. Most of them except our future crime lord which of course is found to have super-psychic powers. Also, of course, the kid had to behave like a spoiled brat with anger problems which was somewhat annoying.
The ending, which I will not divulge here of course, was not very surprising and left quite a few open questions. On the whole I would say that the movie was entertaining but it is far from going on my top ten list.
This is overall a good movie. Only that, good, worth seeing once.
However, in every department there are dislocated moments, editing,
cinematography, acting, story, characters etc. so it does not fit well
overall. The story is murky. I would prefer if nothing was explained
just presented through some artistic elements. This was something is
explained, the rest, well at least unbalanced. The acting is average,
except for the kido who is the best I have seen so far after Haley in
Sixth Sense, what a posture, what attitude, not for a second I doubted
that he can grow up exactly as the story would have told.
Although I was with the film from the beginning to the end, something was constantly missing. Abrupt scene and location introductions, out of nowhere violence, undeveloped characters added with some key element in the plot and so on.
In some sense, all characters are not to be loved, all are negative, so the story is simplified like: can several very bad characters create one good deed? Nothing to worry about for one popcorn fun. The movie is watchable, but I will not watch it one more time.
Could this movie be done better with the same actors, action scenes, story? Well, if you ask me which element I would definitely fix even now with the movie completed, it is editing. Few linked scenes here and there, putting some flashbacks to more logical places would make this movie far better. Who knows, it was not done before, but some reedited future version maybe. We've seen everything done with movies so far. If an experiment is to be done of this sort, this is a very good candidate. Some film students out there? There is a job seemingly unfinished here.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This was a pretty good concept and when the film started I thought I
could've been in for something special. Unfortunately it seems like a
concept was mostly all they had, because this movie simply doesn't hold
up the further along you get into it.
The first 1/3 to 1/2 of the movie is pretty entertaining. You've got the looper concept which is new, and even though it doesn't make complete sense the film moves at a brisk pace so although you might have some issues with how time travel works in this universe you can set it aside and just enjoy yourself. After a certain point in the run time though the movie just loses where it wants to go, or they decided to go in a direction that doesn't serve what they've built up to this point all that well.
Soon after Bruce Willis inserts himself into the plot the movie starts unraveling somewhat. We are given each character's motivations, but not shown much to prove them. Characters who are absolutely crucial to the plot show up halfway through. We are told of a character or characters that will have an immense impact on the life of the main character Joe, but most of it is only alluded to and we just have to take the film's word for it.
This could've actually been a sweeping, epic 3 hour journey and it may have paid off to take that risk and film the movie as such. I say that because some plot points are breezed past very quickly and a good bit of emotion that should've shone through doesn't.
One dynamic of the movie I felt was new and unique was when Joe meets his older self (Bruce Willis). Bruce is trying to convince Joe that he has to take certain action to keep his future intact, but Joe isn't interested because that's his old self's life and not really his own. This brings up a lot of interesting questions. If you could communicate with yourself 30 years into the future, would you take their advice so your life would turn out a certain way or ignore them in order for things to turn out naturally? The movie doesn't explore this beyond one scene, and it's not the main focus of the story, but it could've been.
One final criticism: You cannot have a movie about time travel and then whenever characters are forced to deal with the implications of it, have them say "Don't start talking about all that time travel stuff, it'll just make our heads spin." That's unforgivable. It's like having a character shoot someone in the head from 10 miles away and when another character asks how they can do that, they reply "You wouldn't understand." No, no, no. Unacceptable. You need to address those things or you don't have a story. Nevermind the fact that a lot of people are going to see this movie based on those types of conversations. It makes the plot more interesting not less!
Overall hardcore sci-fi fans will hate this movie but most people might enjoy it. Other than Bruce Willis killing children (offscreen but still), it's a 'meh' Hollywood product that will entertain those that don't think too hard about these sorts of things. For me even though I am a big sci-fi fan I was able to forgive the plot holes but only until the movie started dragging and took an odd turn. At that point it just added up to a somewhat nonsensical experience that didn't stick with me at all.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In the near future, technology and surveillance have become so advanced
that it is impossible to get away with murder. To sidestep this
obstacle, the mafia crime lords of tomorrow have developed a cunning,
fail safe method of killing people without raising suspicions.
They send their victims back in time to be shot by the side of a road in broad daylight. What.
Just take a moment to absorb how stupid and underdeveloped the central premise of this film actually is. There is simply no lynchpin to hold the narrative together.
Why would the mafia choose to recruit paid assassins (Loopers) when they could just send their victims back trillions of years before the formation of Earth? Wouldn't that be cheaper and more efficient?
A pivotal plot element involves the ethical ramifications of a looper having to kill his future self. This plays out to its inevitable conclusion: The looper can't do it and allows his future self to run free, which obviously creates a lot of problems. This leads me to another rhetorical question.
Wouldn't it make more sense for the future loopers to be executed by anyone else but themselves? That way, there would be no hesitation, there would be no mercy, there would no potential pitfalls. There are enough loopers to task with killing each others older selves. Why create yet more variables when they could be so easily avoided?
Viewers are also expected to accept that within a couple of decades from now Human Beings have telekinetic powers. What.
This sort-of superhero element feels incredibly jarring and out of place in the film and suggests that the writer lost his focus along the way. The film could have been better if it just stuck to the time travel/assassin storyline like for example James Cameron did with 'The Terminator', a film which was highly effective in its single mindedness and simplicity.
Instead we have to spend half an hour or so on a farm (which is run unaided by a single parent), where eventually a child conjures up a cyclone using the power of his mind for some reason. What.
Anther gripe I have is merely a cosmetic one. Joseph Gordon-Levitt's nose has been tinkered with in order to make us believe he is a younger version of Bruce Willis. It doesn't work. We know what Bruce Willis looked like when he was younger because we have seen 'Die Hard' and he hasn't really changed other than shedding a few hair follicles. So why bother with the distracting make up? It isn't required for the story. A solid foundation would have been great, but oh well, we will just have to settle for a stupid nose job instead.
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