Looper (2012) Film Review

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The concept is way cool. In the future (2074) time travel has been invented. Murder is no problem, and so when the bad guys want someone dead, they send them back in time to where a ‘looper’ is waiting. A looper is an assassin. They set up a sheet in a field, then the victim shows up bound and wearing a hood, and the assassin blows them away. With a really big gun. The looper then collects the payment, silver bars, from the victim’s back, and burns the body. Job done, everyone’s happy. Only the looper is not happy if the bars on the body’s back are gold, because that means he has just closed the loop – he has shot himself.

That’s all really cool. Then, one of the loopers, played by Paul Dano, does not close his loop, and things go horribly and horrifically wrong for him. Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) understands this, and is thrown into a panic when his older self (Bruce Willis) is sent back and escapes. The remainder of the film has the two men in a battle of survival.

It’s definitely a good film. There is no doubt about that. But I didn’t really enjoy it. That’s not strictly true. I didn’t mind it. But, I really didn’t like the task that the older Joe had to undertake (I don’t want to spoil it, I’ll just say that I found it quite distasteful, although it was certainly totally logical to the story). I possibly wouldn’t have minded it that much if I wasn’t totally distracted by the awful make-up on Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I get that he needed to be the younger Bruce Willis for the storyline. However, I think that I am smart enough to make that connection through the plot and acting without requiring a distracting amount of make-up – especially given what a fabulous job Gordon-Levitt did matching the mannerisms of Willis. If only the producers/director/whoever could have just trusted in the acting, perhaps I would have enjoyed it.

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