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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Calvin Evans 5 / 10

Badly Conceived.

Looper was enjoyable enough but I really can't understand all the praise. Maybe I expected too much of this film, but I was looking forward to a slick piece of speculative sci-fi that was thought- provoking, realistic and fairly deep. Instead, I got a lazily strung together generic action movie with a splash of time travel and super- powers.

"I don't want to talk time travel sh*t" or something along those lines is commonly used in this film to breeze past any plot holes and presumably stop the narrative become too complex. This irked me as it was one of the main draws in my opinion.

I was very frustrated by the little amount of effort that was put in to creating a futuristic society. Forget the realistic near-future depicted spectacularly in films such as Children of Men. This world is more akin to the recent Dredd 3D film. Shallow and lacking in realism. Personally, I would love to have had more information on the state of government etc as the mobs seemed to be running everything but there really isn't any explanation given to this at all.

The dynamics of time travel in this film are completely unbelievable. The notion that you can chop someone leg or whatever off and their "future self" will lose it is completely absurd. You're clearly creating a brand new entity when you come back in time. Put it this way. If I created a copy of myself from 0.1 seconds ago next to me. Are we going to be magically linked? Probably not. It also presupposes some sort of multi-verse scenario, in which case, Bruce Willis's character shouldn't even exist in that eventuality. I don't want to rant about this too much but I thought of all the ways they could depict time travel. This was one of the worst.

And then there are the superpowers. Come on. Everyone has pretty much agreed biological evolution is basically over for us and it's all about technical augmentation now. The idea that in 33 years we'll be developing telekinesis is laughable to the point where the fact you're meant to accept this is almost offensive.

On top of this, the whole plot in general is very hard to swallow and lacks in verisimilitude. Again, I find myself being forced to accept these absurd scenarios such as the fact that the mob can't dispose of bodies, but can set up secret time machines?? Or that they have to send them 30 years back in time and not just 2 billion years or whatever.

And then there's the 30 year montage. Oh dear lord. I turned to my girlfriend and said. "Man, don't you just hate it when you get old and suddenly you're Bruce Willis". There was actually laughter in the cinema when Levitt morphs into Willis.

All in all, I really wouldn't agree with the reviews saying its clever etc. In my opinion the plot is extremely lazy and is secondary to the action. Which is fine. If you want to watch an action film. One of the main reason's I've even written this view is to counterbalance these reviews raving about this very mediocre film calling it a "masterpiece". I read reviews touting it's cleverness or how it goes to extra lengths to not leave plot holes and I think: am I even watching the same movie here?

Personally, I found myself rather disappointed.

Reviewed by J Goron 1 / 10

A disappointing let down from start to finish - caused by bad plot

!SPOILER ALERT! Contrary to the trailers, this is NOT a film about time travel. It IS a film about a telekinetic toddler (who is not in the trailers).

If you are expecting this film to be like Blade Runner, Primer or 13 Monkeys, then you may well be VERY disappointed.

Only about 5 minutes of the film seemed to actually involve time travel or Bruce Willis fighting his past self. When the story does attempt to explore these issues it does so embarrassingly badly. Half way through the film the plot changes AWAY from time travel and becomes a film about trying to kill a telekinetic little boy in the current day. A boy who has only a very weak connection to the initial plot about time travel.

This is really two entirely different plots badly mixed in to one. One plot is about time travel. The other plot is about the dangers of toddlers with uncontrollable telekinesis. Unfortunately the film does neither of these plots well, and ends up ruining both.

To make matters worse, the film moves very slowly in certain places. This just gives the audience time to think about how bad the plot it is.

There is virtually no action either - unless you count Bruce Willis's character shooting defenseless toddlers (for which the certificate should surely be more than 15), or needless torture and execution scenes. There is just a lot of running away from people taking badly aimed pot shots. (This happens a lot). Apparently nobody can shoot straight in the future. The only action scene worthy of the name comes in the last 5 minutes where Bruce Willis suddenly turns ninja and takes out ALL the bad guys in about 30 seconds, and then walks off. It's almost as if the writers got to the end of the story and then thought, "Oh yeah - we should probably have Bruce Willis firing some guns or something ..."

This film fails so pathetically to deal with time travel that it is frankly insulting to the audience. They don't give good explanations about why time travel exists, or how it works. Fair enough. There is a certain suspension of disbelief in any time travel movie. However, they DO establish certain rules about time travel during the film, which they then break, re-establish and break again whenever it is convenient for the writers.

Bruce Willis attempts to explain time travel, and give a justification for the writer's itinerant stance on the matter, only to then smash is hands on the table and angrily shout "It doesn't matter!". This makes it clear that the writers didn't even think they were being clever or original. They clearly knew the plot made no sense, and they were just making a pathetic excuse about time travel being "flaky" to justify their random plot lurches and inconsistencies.

The whole premise of a "Looper" was never satisfactorily explained: 1) Why did the mafia boss who supposedly "owned" the city live in a little basement? In his pajamas? 2) "It is almost impossible to get rid of a body in the future, because of tracking ... cough ... something ... cough-cough." So NATURALLY using time travel is the EASIEST of the available options to dispose of a body!? If a body disappears from the future, for example in a furnace, then surely it also disappears from the future in time travel? Same difference. 3) If mafia in the future are the sole owners and users of time travel, then why don't they just use it to take over the world so that they don't need to even worry about disposing of bodies? 4) Why didn't they just send the loopers back already dead when closing a loop, so that there was no possibility of failure? 5) Why did they always get THE SAME looper to close THEIR OWN loop? Asking for trouble. 6) Why even have more than one looper? Surely the job wasn't that strenuous that they needed to take shifts?

They broke their own rules on time travel, and made the ending of the film impossible and irrelevant given the events in the middle: As soon as the younger version shot himself at the end, then he couldn't have lived to meet the woman in China and eventually travel back in time, which means he couldn't have ever caused his past self to meet the rain man, and so the rain man would not be standing there in the corn field. Everything would have reverted back to how it was before - in exactly the same way that it DID DO EARLIER on in the film when he fell off the balcony and died and the bit where Bruce Willis traveled back in time got repeated. The rain man would have grown up and taken over the world in the same way he did before, and Bruce Willis's wife would still be dead.

They never actually explained WHY the first thing the rain man wanted to do was to kill the loopers in the future. Presumably it was because they were the only people who could go back in time and possibly stop him? So why didn't he just kill them with telekinesis like he did the rest of his enemies? Why did he chose to kill them in the ONLY method which would actually give them the opportunity to stop him in the past - namely, by sending them back to the past, alive.

The story never really addressed or capitalized on Bruce Willi's character being evil. This could have been a great angle to really explore, but instead they just washed over it.

This film was a dismal train wreck of ideas with great potential.

Reviewed by janus-20 10 / 10

Very clever, very original and very welcome.

I would have thought it doubtful that anyone could have anything new to add to the sci-fi sub category of time travel movies. After watching Looper yesterday, i'm happy to report that Rian Johnson has removed those doubts and given me hope that sci-fi in Hollywood can be more than just empty spectacle.

First off i would say, don't get discouraged from watching the film if you think its going to be too complex or difficult to follow. To follow the story and recognise characters motivations does require a little concentration, but not to the point that you wont enjoy the action beats and other more visceral elements.

The story is well constructed, information and plot points are presented at an entertaining and well judged pace. There are some nice little throw away visual references and metaphors which, if you catch them, add a nice texture to the story and stop it feeling too clinical in its plotting.

The script is tight, hard edged and very dry in its humour, the actors are fantastic. I think its fair to say that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is well on his way to being "one to watch", Bruce Willis pops back to life here, clearly enjoying himself again, (although i wouldn't say this is solely a Bruce Willis movie in that definition).

This is a brilliant movie experience, its an wholly original and entertaining idea, that the writer/director has managed to successfully transpose to film without, it would appear to a layman, pressure or interference from external sources.

No matter how much of a good time you will have watching this film (and you will), Hollywood could stand to learn much more from it.

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