Movie Review | Looper
I had high expectations for Looper, director Rian Johnson sci-fi time traveling thriller. Going from 60 to about 25, Looper begins with a lot of promise in its first half but then, rather than build up momentum it comes to a long, 40 minute standstill. Don’t expect nearly two hours of shoot ‘em up action. Be prepared for a very long, uninteresting and confusing plot line which sadly, won’t satisfy anyone who’s a fan of action sci-fi crime drama.
Imagine a world where the mother of all inventions, time travel, has been invented but then declared illegal. The only ones with the ability to time travel is the mafia, who uses loopers to dispose of victims when they’re sent back into the past to be disposed of (because in the world of 2074 tracking technology is so sophisticated, deposing of bodies is nearly impossible.) In the world of 2044, Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), is a young looper paid in silver when he’s sent by his boss Abe (Jeff Daniels) to kill targets of the mafia when the targets are sent back into time. Because time travel is illegal, when crime bosses want to end a looper’s contract, they send the looper’s older selves back into time to “close the loop.” One night, when Joe’s friend Seth comes to Joe in a panic for failing to close his loop. Joe fails to help his friend, who’s killed by Abe’s elite team of Gat Men, but not before Seth tells Joe of a criminal mastermind called the Rainmaker, who’s out to close out all loops for unknown reasons. Shortly thereafter, Joe unknowingly is sent to close his loop. When his older self (Bruce Willis) arrives he quickly Joe immediately recognizes himself and hesitates to pull the trigger, enabling old Joe to escape. Initially going after his older self as to not suffer the same fate as Seth, Joe comes to realizes that old Joe is running from the Rainmaker. Old Joe has returned to the past not because his contract was up; he returns willingly to kill the younger Rainmaker before he grows up and orders the hit on old Joe and his future wife, whom the Rainmaker also ordered to be killed.
With the premise of the film being exciting, once old Joe arrives back to the year 2044 the film begins to drag on with Willis, Levitt and an unrecognizable Emily Blunt who tries too hard to play a tough farm chick. It also appears that in the future, strange forces of nature have caused many human beings to have telekinetic abilities, which is how the Rainmaker gains power over the mafia in the future. But you quickly forget about this important plot point as it’s not fully explained or seen being used much. It’s not until the end you realize how critical this will affect Joe’s future. But you have to sit through a lot of uninteresting, confusing dialogue about the future. I’m not even sure I understand what the inner meaning of what Looper is. It’s not self indulgent, doesn’t take itself seriously or pretentious. It just falls flat. That’s really all that can be said. In the end, Looper just isn’t what I hope the future will be like.