At the start of the year, I knew virtually nothing about Looper but as the year went on and more clips from the film started to be released, I got more and more curious about the film. When the reviews started coming out praising how intelligent the film was, I knew I had to see it, there are so few intelligent sci-fi films around. Now that I've seen the film, I know that the future of sci-fi films is in good hands with people like Rian Johnson helming films as brilliant as Looper.
Now starting of, you must know that the plot is not original at all, think a cross between 12 Monkeys and especially The Terminator but it's done so well that you don't mind. The premise behind the film is brilliant, now I will not spoil the plot for you, you need to see the film to see how well the plot is done, but suffice it to say that the idea behind the Loopers is brilliant and all the stuff added on helps make you believe in the world that the film is creating. The script too is brilliant and serves up equal parts, quiet dialogue based moments and loud action-packed moments with some moments of humour sprinkled throughout and really shows that Rian Johnson is a true visionary when it comes to sci-fi. Apparently, he wants to do an episode of Doctor Who in the future and, based on the strength of Looper's script, I would be fully in favour of it.
The main strength behind Looper though is the acting. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is incredible as Joe, giving in a performance showing pain over his past and what he's being forced to do and real panic over the fact that he has no idea what will happen next. Bruce Willis as Old Joe is also incredible, giving his best performance in years. You really feel the pain Old Joe is going through in what he has to do to save his future and you feel the drive he has, his acting letting you know that he doesn't care who he has to kill to get what he wants. The brilliance of Gordon-Levitt's and Willis' acting comes through best of all in the scene in the Diner about halfway through the film. The majority of the scene is done without any dialogue, letting the mere presence of these two actors letting you know how you're meant to feel. Emily Blunt also does a great job as Sara, pulling of a flawless American accent and sharing a brilliant on screen chemistry with Gordon-Levitt. Blunt's acting only gets better the more the film plays due to Blunt adding more layers to the character and a lot of this comes from interactions with Pierce Gagnon as Cid. Now I won't say anything about Gagnon as Cid for fear of spoiling the film apart from that he does a brilliant performance. On the villains side, Jeff Daniels is a brilliant villain as Abe, delivering a really low key performance that really fits his character and Noah Segen is really threatening as Kid, although some of the funny moments in the film come through his performance. This is an incredibly well acted film, I can't really say much more, you need to see the film yourself to see how brilliant the acting is.
On the production side, the futuristic look given is really subtle, fitting the overall tone of the film and provides a great contrast with the fields where most of the second half of the film is set. The effects are incredible, again done really subtly but being really well done and I wasn't as distracted as most people were by the effects used to make Joseph Gordon-Levitt looking like Bruce Willis, helped by a montage showing exactly how Gordon-Levitt becomes Willis. Other effects, including hovering of objects via telekinesis are brilliant and a scene involving the disappearance of body parts early on in the film is one of the best examples I've seen recently of how brilliant effects can help enhance a world that a film is trying to create. If there is any criticism for the production it's that the action scenes don't really do anything unique, the more unique film-making comes through the scenes involving drugs and in these scenes, Rian Johnson goes all out, it's just a shame that this didn't really happen with the action scenes.
Now I'm sorry about how vague this review is but I really don't want to spoil anything about the film, I haven't even mentioned half of the brilliant stuff in the film like the amazing ending and the brilliant messing around with time-travel mechanics, but if I mention these in detail, I'll spoil the film and I don't want to do that. If you have been intrigued by anything that you have read, then go out an see Looper as soon as possible. Films like this don't come around too often and I really want you to go and support this film.
My Rating: 5/5