New Release Double Header: Looper

Jess' Review - I don't think Looper is the kind of movie you need to go in blind, but knowing very little about the details might keep you from waiting for things. There were some distracting details I won't spoil in case you don't know them, but I really didn't like them. There, that's all I didn't like. Looper tells the story of Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt AND Bruce Willis), who makes money as a Looper, an assassin for the mob of future baddies. How does he do that you might ask? It doesn't matter. That's one of the absolute best things about this movie - the almost lack of need to explain all of the time travel and origins. However, the story also rests upon the details - whether you can harm the future by changing the present and what that means. We see an almost lethal example right near the beginning of the consequences of messing with the present when Paul Dano screws up on the job and lets the person he was supposed to kill leave. After Joe makes the same mistake, he tries really hard to fix it. However, he's smarter than he knows and starts to figure out that knowing something of the future can let you actually do something about it.

Joseph Gorden-Levitt and Bruce Willis are both fantastic. Smart bad-asses make for pretty terrific movies. Emily Blunt, as the mother of a telekinetic little boy, is amazing. Oh, yeah, the TK factor is only a red herring/MacGuffin, but it fills its purpose just fine. I gotta say I loved Emily Blunt with an unexplained Southern accent. The best thing about this movie is its total originality. There is very, very little in the film that relies on sci-fi cliche or time travel genre-bending rules or anything particularly expected. When I left the movie more than two hours after I sat down, it felt like I'd JUST arrived.

Rachel's Review

It turns out Looper's trailer didn't show us all its cards in two minutes, a real rarity these days. I went into the film under the impression the plot was merely Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) tracking down an older version of himself (Bruce Willis) sent back in time to be killed. Yet there is so much more. Old Joe actually has a purpose, a goal to change his and Young Joe's future/present. And therein lies a wonderful mystery wrapped around a morality tale.

Looper asks some really tough questions of its audiences without patronizing them with an overabundance of silly sci-fi elements. Time travel is possible and there is no need to harp on the details. There are a handful of futuristic elements, but we're not given a completely alien world. It's one that our own could believably become someday. And without all the smoke and mirrors of a grand sci-fi epic (*cough*Prometheus*cough*), Looper focuses more on a simple, well-structured plot and organic character development to challenge the audience, asking "What would you do?"

Just ignore the poorly chosen tagline, because in the end it's past Joe who does the hunting and future Joe who does the haunting. (Nitpicking at its finest.)


  1. I enjoyed this more than I expected. My only concern was that I felt a certain plot point might be difficult for my pregnant daughter to watch. I thought the supporting actors were great: Paul Dano, Jeff Daniels, Garret Dillahunt, & Noah Segan. It's also fairly obvious that there won't be a sequel.

    1. Coming in 2014, Looper 2: Unlooped (or Relooped, take your pick)


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.