Looper - Review

To be honest, Looper first caught my attention when i noticed Gordon-Levitt's strange make-up in his new movie. It was only later, that i read about Looper's interesting premise of a criminal organization that assassinates its victims by sending them back through time to let them get killed by "Loopers" in the past.
Nowadays, it has become difficult to bring something new to the time-travel-genre-table without stumbling your way through plot holes and continuity errors (as it is often the case with time travel movies).
Does "Looper" tell us something new and succeed where others failed?

The plot:
In the year 2042, a man (Gordon-Levitt) working for a group of killers called "Loopers" (they work for the mob and kill people who are sent blindfolded back in time from the year 2072 by their bosses) recognizes a victim as himself. He hesitates resulting in the escape of his older self (Bruce Willis).  (source: IMDb)

Right from the start, Looper manages to bring something unique to all the boring time travel stories of recent years. The premise of a future where time travel is only illegally used by crime organizations to assassinate victims without a trace by sending them to killers in the past, is something that i've never heard before.
Through Gordon-Levitt's narration there also comes more credibility to this future world. Not only does it highlight how the "Looper organization" exactly works and how it's structured, but it also mentions small details about future's society.
With the exception of the time travel and the somehow really out of place inclusion of telekinetic mutant people, it's a future that doesn't seem too far off, while still having an own style.

Better shoot people in daylight. We don't want any attention.

Through the course of Looper's story there's (as with any time travel movie) a lot of mish mash and mindfuck going on. Don't worry, director Rian Johnson did a tremendously good job telling this multilayered story without confusing the audience. As a matter of fact, the story is so well told that it makes it one of the most easily understandable time travel movies out there.

Yet, still that doesn't mean that the movie's story doesn't have a good amount of plot holes.
BUT...to be fair now, all the plot holes concern the time-travel system. As you might know, there isn't one big acknowledged timeline/time travel-theory out there, so that these plot holes technically don't even count and can just as well be part of the movie's own time travel understanding.
Also, if we would discuss every little thing about the timeline stuff in Looper we would be here forever.

But what truely astonished me about the movie's story beyond its great premise, is that it not only knows how to tell a generally good sci-fi story but also how seemlessly it incorporates emotional motivations from the characters into it.
The resulting dramatic storyline leads to there not even being one specific antagonist (except maybe the Looper organization).
Looper's story constantly takes twists and turns and manages to explain characters' feelings and motivations so well, that it makes you wonder who you should root for? Willis? Gordon-Levitt? Or even somebody else?
It's a great accomplishment if a writer and director can evoke such feelings in the audience through the magic of cinema.

Enjoy your hair while you still have it Gordon-Levitt!

The acting is pretty stellar throughout.
Gordon-Levitt does similarly as great as a "protagonist" as Bruce Willis. Both of them deliver their lines and dialogue very convincing, which makes it (as i already said) hard to pick one to root for.
Both rival each other although being the same person. It might sound simple now but it gets really interesting at the latest when the two face off each other at the diner-table.
Regarding Gordon-Levitt's make up, i guess it's a love it or hate it thing. Me personally, i think they did the best they could to make him look like a young Bruce Willis and achieved an at least decent result.

Emily Blunt does also predictably well. While she doesn't do exceptionally well, she completely sells her character of Sara, a lone farmer girl watching over her ranch and her son.
Speaking of her son. Young actor Pierce Gagnon playing her son Cid does really good for his age, but i was constantly wondering what kid talks like this as he does in the movie? He talks like an 40 year old adult! Anyway,...

It's funny how the best acting performances sometimes come from sidecharacters. In this case it's Paul Dano's short appearance as Looper Seth. Paul Dano is a powerhouse of an actor (just watch "There Will Be Blood"). Just wanted to give him a mention.

Sometimes, Gordon-Levitt looks like Jude Law from A.I.

Despite its advertising, Looper isn't really an action movie. While it has some exciting action segments in it, you'll have problems finding that many explosions and uber-special effects in there. With only 30 Mio. in Budget, everything is expectedly kept pretty low range in Looper. Nevertheless, you will be entertained by its thrills, suspense and even the subtle use of CGI is well done.
Summed up, it's far more of a thriller than an all out action movie.

With time travel movies being understandably difficult to tackle, Looper does an excellent job in offering something new, while also doing wonders in forms of storytelling. Having two as good as equally sympathetic protagonists face off each other is a great formula for an intense thriller.
Top it all off with a unique premise and belivably presented futuristic sci-fi world and you got yourself Looper. A movie that shows that there are still some fascinating stories that can be told about time travel.


Final Verdict: 7 out of 10 

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