Writer/Director: Rian Johnson
Running time: 119 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15
UK Release date: 28th September 2012
Watched on Sky+ Sunday 23rd June 2013.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I must admit I do like a decent science fiction movie; sadly, filmmakers seem to think that an action movie set in the future will suffice; sadly, for me, no. What I want is something that will make me think; I don’t want it all explained to me throughout; let me work some of it out for myself. And so we come to ‘Looper’. You’ll be glad to know it does tick many of the right boxes, although not quite all. Still, it does do many of the things I’d want from a science fiction movie. Here’s a very brief summary (the set-up really) before I give you my thoughts.
Set thirty years in the future where a group of men called ‘loopers’ exist to clean up for the mob 30 years further into the future. In that era, time travel has been invented and immediately banned but the crime bosses use it illegally to deal with people they want out of the way. They send them back where a looper will wait for them and kill them as soon as they appear. The body, which has the looper’s payment attached to it, is disposed of and so it goes on. When a looper is to be ‘retired’, his future self is sent back, he kills his future self and is allowed to live peacefully for the next thirty years with a fat bonus. That is, until he’s sent back to be killed by his younger self, hence closing the loop. With me so far? Well our story involves a looper, Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who, when confronted with his future self, Old Joe (Bruce Willis), is thrown into a web of intrigue. Old Joe overpowers him and escapes. Young Joe has seen the consequences of not killing your older self; he has plans for his future and so sets of after him. When they finally meet, Old Joe tells him of a future boss called ‘The Rainmaker’, who has taken over and is closing all the loops. Old Joe had a wife and he wants that life back so he plans to kill the Rainmaker before he can grow up. He has a clue to his identity; he could be one of three children living in the area. Young Joe wants nothing to do with it, but you know that’s not the end of it.
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.
IMDb Score: 7.6/10 (based on 232,707 votes when this review was written).
MetaScore: 84/100: (Based on 44 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 87/100 (based on 104,336 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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Official Site: http://www.loopermovie.com/