Looper sees Joseph Gordon Levitt collaborate for a second time with director Rian Johnson, their last project together was the brilliant, Brick. Bringing on board some more star power in the form of Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt and switching his highly intelligent script writing skills to the genre of sci-fi this film had a hell of a lot going for it. Not to mention a multitude of five star reviews from all over the place. So come opening night, this Friday, I was very excited to go and see what all the fuss was about.

It started off very intriguingly the idea of the looper is maybe not the most original but with Johnson’s writing it feels fresh and the plot build up is very good. But overall, the film never actually goes much further. The story revolves around a boy with Telekinesis or ‘TK’ as it’s become known in the future, a mutation that a small section of the population have developed. This little boy has it a lot stronger than most but the whole process of how this condition came to be is never even spoken about let alone explained and this leads to it being quite hard to care about. The first half is so much better than the first as the character of Gordon Levitt and his job as a Looper is so much more fleshed out than that of the TK. It’s worth pointing out at this point that, if you don’t know already, Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis actually play the same character, Willis being from even further in the future, and they’ve attempted to make up Gordon Levitt to look a bit more like Willis and, I think, have done a pretty good job even if it is slightly weird to look at.

The plot ticks along nicely and it really is a very gripping story but the main problem is that it never fully gets going. As far as I can remember there aren’t any really big action set-pieces which is slightly odd for something billed as an action film. Total Film’s comparison to The Matrix is completely ridiculous, Looper isn’t even in the same division as the sci-fi that changed everything. It is, unfortunately, very middle of the road, doing very little to separate itself from the constant Hollywood output of 12A sci-fi actioners that are big on budget but small on ideas.

While it’s not that bad a film it nowhere near lives up to it’s hype and that makes it seem a lot worse than it would’ve been had I gone with no expectations but nonetheless it’s really not all it’s cracked up to be.


6 comments on “Looper

  1. Man I wish this wouldn’t keep coming up on my reader – desperate to see it, even if, as you, it doesn’t live up to the hype. Nice review/

  2. tomoosk says:

    I didn’t think I wanted to watch this, and you’ve just confirmed it so thanks for the heads up. I’m writing film reviews too, be great if you check out my blog. Btw check 2nd paragraph, 9th line for a typo (not criticising, just trying to help)

  3. James says:

    I thought it really lived up to Empires 5 stars… the concept was great and I don’t like films over explaining things, its far better (at times) to be open it to interpretation. The action was just right, films needs to breathe, this had some nice dialogue driven scenes.

    Looper I would say is better than many many recent sci-fi films, it was a great concept, good acting (good to see Bruce Willis in a decent role), good script, good music, good action scenes, good its not in 3D and good its grittier than most recent efforts being a 15, rather than the 12a which is so common. Yes it borrows from many films – The Terminator being an obvious example, but if you are going to borrow from something then…..

    Yes, The Matrix changed sci-fi, but its been surpassed and its dated, Keanu Reeves is a very poor actor, his action scenes (i.e. fights) are unconvincing and the dialogue is very cheesy in places. Also The Matrix is seriously affected by 2 appalling sequels that are a waste of time and should have never been made…

    Another recent sci-fi film (last 2 years) – Source Code was excellent and the director Duncan Jones (also did the excellent, Moon) has real promise.

    An over rated sci-fi of recent years? Inception… the concept I got bored with quickly… “now which, dream are we in? ermmm I don’t really care…”

    • jonnybrownuk says:

      Much preferred Inception, I felt Looper skimped out on the action and couldn’t understand why it was a 15. I did like the concept and the story and the acting but overall it just didn’t live up to what I expected. Source Code I felt much the same about. Absolutely loved Moon though.

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