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Wick's Review

Created Oct 04, 2012 04:16PM PST • Edited Jan 21, 2019 06:16AM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Really Great 4.5

    Looper is one of the most satisfying movies of the year. An outstanding action picture, a mind-bending time-travel yarn and a charismatic moviestar showcase, it is exciting, thought provoking and often damn funny. Writer-director Rian Johnson must be a very hot commodity in Hollywood now based on his Super Duper Looper. Plus, he’s constructed it as an origin story, more about which later.

    Mob assassins – so called Loopers – travel back 30 years from the late 21st century to whack unfortunates also sent back … for elimination. This sets up one hell of an identity conflict between Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis when the older incarnation is sent for the younger one to do the deed.

    Rian Johnson masterfully exploits the time travel conceit by showing many scenes twice, with reality often reset in the second version. This works extremely well to keep we the viewers on our toes and entertainingly surprised. It also allows the stars to meet the moment not just once, but twice in most cases.

    Speaking of stars, they’re terrific, not just Willis and JGL, but Emily Blunt and much of the rest of the large cast. Of course Rian Johnson has given them a lot to work with, including plenty of smart humor.

    That clever comedy includes several LOLs, some of which take a moment to sink in, especially one delivered by Bruce Willis in French and legible to we Americans via a single subtitle. Hilare!

    Bring on the sequel, ideally not just one. The more Loopers the better.

  3. Really Great 4.5

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis don’t look or act alike, but they sure play well together as the younger and older incarnations of the same guy. JGL turns in a deft performance as an unsure guy in the cocksure game of assassination, while Willis delivers his best role in years.

    Emily Blunt also is tremendously charismatic and downright tough as a single-mom parenting a deeply troubled child. Child-actor Pierce Gagnon is scarily composed as her preternaturally powerful little boy.

    Notables from the large cast:

    • Paul Dano as a stupid hitman, aka looper
    • Jeff Daniels as a brutal crime boss
    • Qing Xu as Willis’s loving wife
    • Garret Dillahunt as a straight shooting looper
  4. Male Stars Really Great 4.5
  5. Female Stars Really Great 4.5
  6. Female Costars Really Great 4.5
  7. Male Costars Really Great 4.5
  8. Really Great 4.5

    Looper plays as a Hall of Fame parallel universe story given how individuals are brought together from different times in their lives and in how they can change the future universe by changing their actions. If Inception was the Citizen Kane of parallel universe films, Looper comes close, falling just shy of perfection because its story doesn’t hang together under scrutiny.

    As it happens, scrutiny is impossible while viewing Rian Johnson’s wildly entertaining masterpiece and isn’t much worth pursuing afterwards either. But it wouldn’t stand up to it if it was, whereas Christopher Nolan’s magnum opus flaunts its five-level deep – yet completely coherent – universe.

  9. Direction Perfect 5.0
  10. Play Really Great 4.5

    Johnson’s story messes with relationships we all have, deep ones: motherhood, boyhood, husbands, wives, selves. Bravo!

    Also a first-rate origin story, it tees up one hell of a sequel with the Rainmaker (remember that name) and his yet to be born younger sibling. Quite a spawn that family is going to be.

  11. Music Great 4.0
  12. Visuals Really Great 4.5
  13. Content
  14. Sordid 3.2

    Titillation, brutality and gleeful nastiness make Looper grownup entertainment. Oh yeah, then there’s the fact that the lead Looper is some sort of drug addict, which he uses via eye drops, leading another character to ask him “When’s the last time you dropped?” Clever.

    As to titillation, Emily Blunt’s horny MILF ringing for a handyman is as funny as it is hot. And hot it is.

    On a serious note, the movie introduces a child monster with a Chucky face. Parents of emotionally disturbed children might want to steer clear.

  15. Sex Titillating 2.0
  16. Violence Brutal 3.5
  17. Rudeness Nasty 4.0
  18. Supernatural 3.7

    Where to start? Time travel remains SciFi’s fundamental cheap trick. Looper doesn’t stop there however. It also bakes in a bunch of telekinesis. Why not.

    One quibble with the non-supernatural: The future mix of super-high-tech and prosaic-low-tech has been a SciFi staple for decades now. However, Looper is often ridiculous in how it employs the low tech. For instance, even if the Fed continues with Quantitative Easing for the next fifty years, thereby reducing the value of the dollar to that of a penny, does anyone believe we’ll still be using physical money, whether gold or otherwise? Hardly, and yet it’s fundamental to the plot of Looper.

  19. Circumstantial Surreal 3.0
  20. Biological Supernatural 4.0
  21. Physical Supernatural 4.0


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Apr 20, 2013 2:19PM

Regarding BrianSez’s Review
“Bundled together, its great entertainment.” Yep, lots to bundle and lottsa entertainment.