Looper (2012)


The time travel genre has produced some great movies through the years. Movies which make you think like Primer, Timecrimes or Donnie Darko, dramas like The Lake House or Frequency, entertaining films like Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure or Back to the Future and of course action movies like Terminator. Looper can be added to that last category (and even shares some similarities with Terminator), but gives the concept of time travel its own unique twist.

The movie is about Loopers, hitman which are hired to kill people sent from the future at the exact moment they appear in the current timeline. Their targets always appear at the same spot and are killed within seconds of appearing by the Looper, who takes the silver their victim has strapped to his body. The reason for these Loopers is that in the future it becomes almost impossible to kill someone without getting caught and this solution is used by criminals to get rid of their enemies. Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is one of those Loopers. He earns a good living by doing it, but now about the biggest risk the job brings along, which is when the people in the future decide that it’s time to “close your loop”. What they do is send the future version of yourself back in time to be killed. From that moment on you know you will only have 30 years left to live. Joe is shocked when he comes eye to eye with his future self (played by Bruce Willis) and is in trouble when the execution doesn’t go according to plan.

Both versions of Joe have their own agenda and because of it, it manages to play with the emotions of the viewer. One moment you are rooting for the older Joe, the next one that switches and you consider him the bad guy. It’s something which happens several times and makes for an interesting watch. The younger version of Joe uses some information he has to try to locate his older version and through that meets Sara (Emily Blunt) who lives together with her child, Cid (Pierce Gagnon, who I thought was amazing). Because of it he seems to get to know more about the possible reason why older Joe doesn’t want to die yet.

Besides time travel, the movie also mixes in telekenesis (or TK as its called in the movie), but to me it wasn’t a big enough part of the story, resulting in something happening later on which wasn’t as convincing to me. I did have some other issues too. I never fully bought into the idea that Levitt was portraying a convincing Bruce Willis. I’m not saying his acting was bad, it was far from that, but I never felt the two versions of Joe were the same guy. Another criticism was the character Kid Blue, who I thought brought nothing to the story and only appeared at specific moments when the story needed some spicing up. Despite all of these things I will say that I enjoyed watching Looper. It offers enough action and drama. Maybe my expectation were a bit too high going in.

40 thoughts on “Looper (2012)

  1. Love this movie, and Pierce Gagnon was absolutely phenomenal. Good read, though considering that Bruce Willis looks nothing like Gordon-Levitt, I thought the latter did a rather decent job 🙂

  2. Nice review man. I did enjoy Looper but didn’t love it. I didn’t feel like I connected with any of the characters, particularly the two Joes. I also have a slight issue with time travel films as they are always riddled with plot holes, but that’s more my finickiness than anything else.

    • Exactly my feeling Terry. Liked it, but didn’t love it. Yeah, time travel movies always have plot holes and so does this one. One example I can think of is the fact they can’t murder anyone in the future, but still do so. The director tried to explain that, but it was weird to see.

  3. The hype was huge for this one so yeah that might’ve played a part, Nostra. I enjoyed it but I think 7 is fair as there was some plot holes in it. Still it was a pretty entertaining sci-fi flick.

  4. I agree with your 7 rating for Looper. It was an entertaining ride. Besides the drugs in the eyes, there were no other moments were I felt: “hey I’ve never seen that done before in a movie”. It borrowed a little too much from other films to make it a truly groundbreaking sci-fi, for me.

  5. I’m a bit surprised by the rating, I was expecting higher. I honestly think that Looper is one of the best movies I have seen in 2012. I thought JGL was really convincing as Bruce Willis but I do agree about Pierce Gagnon who seems to be getting rave reviews, and rightly so, in everyone’s review that I have read. It was Emily Blunt’s character that really did my head in, largely because I just found her accent annoying. All round though, I thought Looper was excellent; great story, great action, great acting.

  6. The cast is amazing, but the direction is where this flick really hits the money and how well it just makes sense of all of the weird/strange futuristic stuff that never makes sense in so many other movies of this nature. Good review Nostra.

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  8. I really liked this one. But as my husband and I discussed it over dinner later all of the holes appeared and it ruined a little of the mojo. But as a viewing experience I loved it.

      • Love the site Nostra, thanks for checking out mine! I liked this movie, and your review is pretty much spot-on, except I would have to disagree about Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I thought he nailed Bruce Willis’s subtleties perfectly! However, I did find his makeup a bit distracting sometimes.

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  11. This movie is amazing! Just finished watching right now on Pay-Per-view and have to say that Cid (Pierce Gagnon) delivered a solid performance for a 5 year old boy. WOW!!

    I literally cried at the end when he and his mom were chased down the field by shot at by Bruce Willis. The scene is haunting to see. I give this movie at 9+. All the performances are great!!

  12. Hey Nostra,
    Finally moved the rock, trying to get out and get some air. Caught this one, did you write after I posted mine? Anyway, figured I’d just pipe up again – I like your thoughts on the similarities to other films, past and present, and I think your character thoughts are pretty right on – though the make-up with JGL I actually really liked. It reminds me of the thing Robert did in Tropical Thunder, I mean totally unnecessary in that film but just the idea of it. I think actors are too worried about breaking away from themselves, muddying up their looks in one way or another. Sure, its what sells tickets but a great performance is a great performance, whether you’re wearing a masque or mask or whatever – just mix things up! Anyway, thanks for the read. Cheers0>

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