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Review: Looper

Updated on October 3, 2012


Rian Johnson is a talented writer and director as evident by his previous movies. He continues to add to his impressive resume with this sci-fi action film that delivers with some terrific performances and a rather impressive plot set with plenty of twists. He rejoins Joseph Gordon Levitt as the two previously worked together on the independent film, Brick, which was set in a familiar film noir setting like Looper. All of Johnson's films have been fun, while this and Brick were both terrific in their own right, Looper was all so thought-provoking. Many viewers will be quick to point out how silly Joseph Gordon Levitt looks with the heavy amount of makeup making him look more like a younger Bruce Willis, but once you get caught up in the film you easily forget about the makeup and accept the characters for what they are.

The plot is set in the near future, 2044 to be exact where the United States has endured a full economic collapse which further caused a severe social decay and a rise in organized crime. In addition to the horrible occurrences, ten percent of the population had suffered from a strange mutation in which they had gained telekinetic powers. However, those who had the "gift" couldn't do much more then lift a quarter and thought they were special. Thirty years further into the future time travel has been invented but is immediately outlawed. Tracking technology has made it almost impossible to dispose of corpses, so the mob use time travel to send those that they want to be killed back to 2044 to be killed by a special group of called "Loopers." These Loopers are assassins that are paid by silver bars which are strapped to the body of their target but when the mob bosses want to end the Looper's contract, they send back their future self and gold bars. They call this "closing the loop." Failing to kill your future self is essentially signing your death sentence.

All of this comes to Joe's (Levitt) doorstep one night when his one and only friend comes frantically knocking on his door saying he couldn't close his loop. He panicked and froze when he saw his future self. His future self also told him that all of the Loopers are being closed off by the new mob boss know as "The Rainmaker." Joe tries to get Seth (Paul Dano) to safety by putting him in his safe where he had stashed at least half of his silver bars he had gained in his time as a Looper. He does what he can, but Abe (Jeff Daniels), his boss, drives a hard bargain. Joe wakes up the next day and carries out his next assignment. His assignment is late to show up, and when it shows up it throws him off as it is him from the future and not prepackaged with a covered face as usual. He shoots to kill but Old Joe (Bruce Willis) moves fast enough to get away and lastly leaves a note to his younger self to get out of town and fast.

Joe tries to make things right but chasing down his future self, but proves to be a very difficult mark. The two eventually meet at a diner where the two, in their separate times, very frequently flirted with the waitress. The two even order the same meal and begin to talk. Young Joe shows his vanity and his arrogance by trying to prove that he is younger, faster and more dangerous. However on the other hand, the Older Joe has seen more that his younger self has not yet been privy to. He knows that his younger self frequently dabbles in drugs and easy women but he explains to him that eventually he will meet a woman that will fix him up and love him unconditionally. Older Joe wants to make sure his younger self is still on the path to find that woman, more importantly so he does not forget her. Younger Joe presses to find out who this "Rainmaker" is, and his older self explains that he does not have an army yet he was able to wipe out all forms of military by himself. Furthermore, he knows that the Rainmaker is just a boy in this time and he can make things right by executing him now.

Closing Comments

It is easily one of the best movies I have seen this year. However, I fear that it will be overlooked by those that assume it is just purely an action film off of the trailer. It is far more then that. Joseph Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis do a terrific job in their respective roles. Even more so, it is terrific to see the change in Young Joe from the beginning to the end of the film. Old Joe wanted his younger self to stop being so arrogant and vain, and boy did he get that in spades. Emily Blunt also does a terrific job in the role of the protective Sara who does whatever she can to protect the young boy she is in charge of named Cid. Even more so, Pierce Gagnon does a terrific job in the intense role of Cid. His eyes relay to the viewer so much emotion, it is amazing to see from such a young actor. If they ever did another Omen film, this kid would be a shoe-in for the role of Damien.


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    • rjbatty profile image

      rjbatty 3 years ago from Irvine

      Finally got around to seeing the film, and I found it entertaining -- but not particularly memorable. I gave it three out of four stars on NetFlix.

    • rjbatty profile image

      rjbatty 5 years ago from Irvine

      Very helpful and informative review. I had seen the previews, and as you surmised, the emphasis on some violence and quick editing made me think this was another "B" level sci fi movie. Your review has given me a different perspective. I'll see the movie when it is released in DVD. Indications now point toward my liking the movie much more than initially anticipated. Thank you.

    • Nickalooch profile image

      Nickalooch 5 years ago from Columbia, MD

      i wanted to write the review as soon as possible, but i couldnt. i thought about it more and more. the one complaint id have is that i wish there were more scenes between the two Joes.

    • jmartin1344 profile image

      jmartin1344 5 years ago from Royal Oak, Michigan

      Great review, I completely agree - I absolutely loved the film. I thought I would like it, but bot as much as I did! I won't get into Spoilering details - but some parts were so well written and extremely clever.

      Nice hub!