Oct 2 2012 2:30pm

Looper is Kind of Silly

Looper is Kind of Silly

This past week, the new science fiction action/thriller Looper opened in theaters to overwhelmingly positive reviews and solid box office numbers. I can see why: It’s a visually engaging movie with great performances from everyone involved, with good pacing and several gripping plot concepts driving it along. But, it’s also a muddled mess of a film that barely approaches being intelligent and instead relies on a lot of emotional clichés and overused tropes. Most damning, though, is that it violates its own premise, and makes perhaps the most mind-numbing choice a story can make: altering the basic rules of narration. Time travel movies can break a lot of narrative rules, but Looper does something that is not only technically offensive, but simply nonsensical. 


My biggest problem with Looper occurs right at the start of the movie with the voice-over narration from Joe (Joseph-Gordon Levitt.) Apparently, he is the one who is telling me his story: it’s the character’s “Call me Ishmael” moment. While this may sound a bit too Creative Writing 101, I didn’t like this approach because it was telling me rather than showing me what was going on. (The Mary Sue’s Rebecca Pahle said something similar, recently.) At first, I gave the narration a pass because I figured the filmmakers were just trying to get a bunch of exposition out of the way in order to get to the story as fast as possible. This, to me, is a problematic method of setting up your story and a hacky way to get at your themes, but whatever. This is just a big dumb Hollywood movie, right?

Well, wrong. Looper carries the weight of its considerable pretention, wearing it like an overcoat that bespeaks of refinement and intelligence. I suspect, however, that this costume was stolen, because any movie that takes as much time as it does with later scenes shouldn’t need a voice-over narration. Looper wasn’t adapted from a short story or novel, so really, why couldn’t these concepts have been depicted visually? Ah, but here’s the rub: they wanted the character to be able to explain directly to the audience at the end of the movie why he does exactly what he does. And they set it up this way (I suppose) to lull you into a false sense of security, because Looper’s story is all about the ending.

Let’s just get this out of the way: at the end of the movie Joe (the Joseph Gordon-Levitt version) kills himself, thus preventing his future self—Old Joe (the Bruce Willis version)—from traveling back in time and inadvertently creating a powerful crime boss/warlord in an attempt to kill said villain as a little child. And here’s where having the voice-overs from Joe are ridiculous: a character speaking to you can’t simply say casually at the end of the story “and then I killed myself.” Screw you, audience! Where is Joe as he’s telling us this story, then? Heaven? Hell? Looper purgatory? I’m not sure it matters, because I know where the screenwriters were telling the story from: LAZYTOWN. The reason they wanted a voice-over is to add to the shock value when Joe pulls the trigger on himself, thus saving the day. They also wanted it because they couldn’t figure out how to convince the audience in any other way that Joe saw the future of “The Rainmaker” and that the only way to stop it was suicide. (Charlie Jane Anders of io9 wrote a good piece the other day about why suicide is an overused and annoying time travel trope.)

Could they have removed the voice-over from the film and saved it? Well, it would be a little better, but I imagine most people would be scratching their heads as to why Joe shoots himself. I’d argue that this kind of lazy plotting is in the basic DNA of the movie itself.

Looper tries to get out of explaining some of its logical fallacies by having several characters bitch about confusing “time travel shit.” To me, this felt like the story itself was bullying the audience into not asking questions. It’s as if they were saying “Hey! Don’t complain about the confusing stuff in this movie or we’ll take your popcorn away. Just be quiet and watch the movie! Shhh.”

Early on, we’re shown very clearly how physical actions on a body in the present will manifest on the older body of the future. When Paul Dano lets his future version of himself escape, the mob cuts off parts of the young version’s body in order to get him to come back to base. The issue with this is pretty obvious: the mob has changed the future. How could the future version of Paul Dano have proceeded with his life and even existed in that form if his past self is now comatose and a paraplegic?

Because this little logical fallacy occurred towards the start of the movie, I didn’t mind. BUT, when Joe shoots himself at the end of the movie causing Old Joe to disappear from existence, we’re lead to believe the timeline has really been changed. But not with Paul Dano? Why? Because Paul Dano’s not the main character? The crime boss Abe (Jeff Daniels) says what they are doing with Paul Dano is “dangerous,” but doesn’t elaborate. Isn’t young Paul Dano effectively dead? Meaning the old version of him could never have looped and run away? Further, they make a big deal out of NOT killing Paul Dano’s younger self, but when Joe’s Looper runs, they have no problem trying to shoot young Joe. Why? We are never told, not even through a hammy voice-over speaking to us from... wherever.

Even setting aside all the inconsistent narration and time travel shenanigans, Looper also fails thematically. The movie’s plot, despite all the time travel and meeting yourself stuff, ends up not really being about that at all. Instead, it’s about trying to kill a genocidal monster when he’s a child, and then wondering if he has to turn into that person at all. In terms of aesthetic and theme, introducing creepy all-powerful children into your already crowded movie is slightly overpowering. When you set up a movie being about one thing, and it ends up being about something else entirely, I don’t really find that to be a smart or interesting twist.

When Joe shows up on Emily Blunt’s farm, it’s literally as though a brand new movie begins, one which is totally different from the one we’ve been watching. What was the point of Joe having a drug addiction? Just so Emily Blunt could chide him about going through withdrawal? Personally, I would have rather had a few more scenes in which Old Joe and Young Joe interacted. I thought that’s what this movie had promised to be about. Really, Bruce Willis only gets that one diner scene to chastise his younger self. There’s never an exploration of who people are and who people choose to become, at least not from the person who is supposedly the main character, which is saying something! If you’ve got two people playing the main character, you’d think you’d have twice the opportunity to do some character development. But they don’t, because the inexplicable voice-over is in charge. Why does Young Joe have a change of heart? Because the voice-over said so. Why will the little kid not grow up to be a tyrant anymore? Because the voice-over said so.

The voice-over also said "I changed it.” This is like a writer saying, “because I wrote it that way.”

Personally, I’d like the cheap narrative tricks in movies to be a little less transparent. Looper looks great and has some wonderfully fun action moments. But in the end, like Bruce Willis and his cloudy memory, I already want to forget it and have my memory replaced by a movie that made sense.

Ryan Britt is a staff writer for Tor.com. He really wanted to love this movie. Sorry!

1. Edgewalker81
UGH. Stop nitpicking.
2. Jonathan Andrew Sheen
I've been rolling my eyes for months at critics calling a movie whose whole premise is someone sending their enemies back in time "smart." Did nobody behind this scheme ever read "A Sound of Thunder?"
3. Ryan's Mom
Suppose you didn't like the voice-over narration in "Blade Runner" ether.
Deana Whitney
4. Braid_Tug
Heard a friend say they would rather watch "Time Cop."
Sean Fagan
5. sef
I thought it was a frustrating movie, for sure. I think it was trying to be in the same class as INCEPTION, and it was certainly a high production-value movie... but the TK thing didn't need to be there (it threw me out of the story completely), and the paradox handling was bad.
Ryan Britt
6. ryancbritt
Well now, we all know the voice-over narration in Blade Runner was added into the film against Ridley Scott's wishes. We also know that my REAL MOM posts on tor.com with the user name "your mom." True story!
rob mcCathy
8. roblewmac
have not seen it yet but rooting for it. Whatever other problems it may have at least it is not based on something so well known my brain already wrote the movie "Batman/Holmes/Billbo would never do that!"
9. JeffC
I saw it last night and cant say that I cared for it. I kept waiting for it to get good right till the end.
Tudza White
10. tudzax1
Well, I liked the version of Bladerunner without the voice-over better.

I was all set to see Looper this weekend, then I heard about this whole TK business and said, "What? Why is that even necessary?"
Ryan Britt
11. ryancbritt
That's right! Too much stuff going on!
Thomas Di Paolo
12. Pattom
I'm not sure if this website supports private messages, Ryan, so I'm going to post this here. Hold onto your hats, it's gonna be a long one...

I'd like to chip in that I don't think any time travel movie makes perfect sense when you put its mechanics under the microscope, so it doesn't necessarily seem like a copout for a movie to tell you those mechanics are unimportant compared to everything else going on. The general principle behind time travel in Looper seems to be this: if something unanticipated happens to your past self as a result of time travel, then future versions of yourself are also changed the next time they're being observed by the audience, but the original series of events that took place between those two points remains unaffected. It's nakedly a dramatic device, and you can argue that it's a cheap one, but I personally can't call it illegitimate since the movie ultimately wants to talk about its characters' reactions to any changes that take place rather than the logical consequences of those changes. The reveal of the stable time loop revolving around Joe and the Rainmaker is the best example, in that the Rainmaker killing Joe's wife made him vengeful towards the Rainmaker, yet it was Joe killing the Rainmaker's mother that made him vengeful towards Joe. The loop is based off an emotional cycle of hatred and violence between the two characters, not necessarily a logical cycle of cause and effect between two bodies in motion.

To that end, I'd politely suggest to the author of the io9 essay that suicide-as-time-travel-solution CAN be a stupid trope, but so can any trope when it's used in a careless "I'm out of ideas, so why not?"-fashion that has no context in the rest of the story. I don't consider that the case in Looper: it's established multiple times that Joe is a selfish person, but in the last scene he truly understands it for the first time. He's taken money from the bodies of the people he kills. He took Abe's deal and sold out his own best friend to be tortured. Even knowing what he does now, he'll attempt to take the life of an enemy who only exists because Joe has created him. His entire life has been defined by taking things from others, and by most standards, Joe is a genuinely awful person. When he sees that that Sara is about to give up her own life to save Cid's, though, he's given the opportunity to redeem himself by doing the same thing... for a different reason.

In that sense, the final scene isn't disappointing, it's where the central question of the movie is given its answer. Most time travel movies ask some variant of whether or not you'd go back in time to correct past wrongs if you could. What Looper is asking is, "If you did go back in time to right past wrongs, would you know what the right thing to do is?" Joe's knowledge of the Rainmaker is tainted by his own hatred; attempting to kill him never stops him, yet Joe always remains convinced that this time he will. In trying to solve his problems, he becomes the cause of them. And that revelation, that "the path is a circle," is Joe answering definitively no, he doesn't know what the right thing to do is. It's not that killing himself is the right decision, but that any decision he makes will be wrong in some sense, and this is the one wrong decision that stops him from hurting anyone else.

That's not to say this reveal is airtight and immune to criticism. In any "let's go back in time to kill Hitler"-plot, you know exactly what the stakes are because you know exactly how bad Hitler was, but one of my niggling problems with Looper is that we never really get a sense of just how bad the Rainmaker becomes in the 2070s: the only evil acts we see attributed to him are killing Joe's informant and attempting to close Joe's loop. Sure, he can blow people up with his mind, but that feels exactly like what you're talking about in the essay: seeing him kill someone with TK as a child is a shortcut that means we don't get to see him do it as an adult. I'm not sure if the Rainmaker is genuinely monstrous to everyone who crosses him or if Old Joe is just so embittered and set on revenge that murdering children is less horrific than what's been done to him personally. And that's not facetious, I could easily accept the latter as an answer, but there's not quite enough information presented to make it a weighty distinction. Making the future Rainmaker such a shadowy figure is an unfortunate choice in that regard. I've heard that several additional scenes filmed in Shanghai were cut in post-production but restored for the version shown in China, and I'm hoping some of those will involve the Rainmaker's rise to power.
Katie McNeal
13. Katiya
Any direct response to Danny Bowes's review here on Tor of the same movie, coming to a completely opposite conclusion? I haven't seen the movie, but I don't mind spoilers, so I'm genuinely curious.
14. TiCo
My biggest problem with the film was that he didn't need to kill himself at all; he just had to shoot off his hand so his older self couldn't kill the kid's mom. I don't mind suicide as a solution to time travel, but I do mind needless suicide.
15. JayDan
"What was the point of Joe having a drug addiction? Just so Emily Blunt could chide him about going through withdrawal?"

The drug addiction is what "old Joe" still has later, and his wife gets him off the drugs and nurses him to rehabilitation. It's one of the primary motivation for his intense love for her, and his desire to reset history so he can get back with her as soon as possible, and is willing to go to such extreme measures to do it.

And Rian Johnson, the writer and director of the movie, isn't lazy. Not really sure if you're trolling with this piece or just being deliberately obtuse. (Just checked the title of the piece again. Yep, definitely trolling.

It happened with Inception, it's happening with Looper. Intense nitpicking instead of enjoying a smart, engaging movie is why we can't have nice things (e.g. these smart, engaging SF movies which can be rare these days.)
Ryan Britt
16. ryancbritt
I don't consider Inception to be smart either. I'm a tough cookie! Not a troll. Quite simply, I've got a lot of issues with sci-fi movies that try to be "clever" by being "complicated." Further, as a writer, I'm always focused on figuring out how the narrative actually works. As I point out, having a 1st person point-of-view makes it impossible (time travel or not!) for Joe to speak to us as he kills himself. "Nitpicking" isn't the same as having genuine issues with the writing.

Throwing me in with some kind of trend of "intense nitpicking" isn't really fair. I like a lot of movies and books. As others in this thread have mentioned, Tor.com posted a positive review of Looper by a great film critic named Danny Bowes. So, I woudn't say things are being ruined and that you can't "have nice things!" You can! I'm sure everyone who loved Looper will still love it and Rian Johnson will keep making movies. Unlike Joe and Old Joe in the movie, I don't have an inflated sense of how my actions impact the timeline.
Scott Silver
17. hihosilver28
*spoilers* (guess that's still the policy even if the article is already tagged)

Ryan, I can understand your point about the narration. Honestly, I wasn't thinking about it as Joe is narrating the events of the movie from a future point in time, it felt more like internal dialogue to me. Although, I could take it as the "Lester" style from American Beauty as well. I think that the TK was a necessary part of the plot. It didn't feel overstuffed to me, just a different movie than I was necessarily expecting. I think it was a better movie than the one I had built in my head, so I don't mind it taking a different path.

As far as Paul Dano's loop went, I think they explained it pretty well in the movie. When he got captured and the "Doctor" started operating on him, his future loop started losing his limbs, but he was still in the present. When he finally got to the building and the door opened, you could see that Dano was on the operating table, but still very alive. The implication was they would keep him alive to then send him back so he could close his loop. I think there is an explanation that makes sense(ish) for what exists in the movie. That said, time travel is inherently susceptible to plot holes...with the exception of Primer. :)

@12. Patton
That pretty much sums up how I feel about the movie. I've loved all of Rian Johnson's films, and I thought this one was fantastic as well. And primarily for the emotional heft at the center of the movie. Precisely what you laid out.

@14. TiCo
I initially had that same thought as well. But then I got to thinking about older Joe's drive to stop the Rainmaker and whether the loss of a hand would really stop him. I believe that (old)Joe would use whatever means he could to kill the kid. So, really the only method (young)Joe knew of to completely deal with the situation was to remove himself from the loop entirely. I felt that it was a decent decision made in the heat of the moment. After all, he had tried to stop him using pretty much every other option available.
18. NothingChanged
The biggest problem is, if Joe actually succeeded in stopping the Rainmaker from existing by killing himself, everything should have retroactively changed at that moment (like the foot on brake disappearing) which would completely unmake the film and nothing we saw would happen.

Plus we saw old joe's life where he did close the loop, and the Rainmaker still came. So we already knew his suicide wouldn't change anything.
Bobby Stubbs
19. Valan

My biggest issue with the movie was the random Bruce Willis massacre near the end where new guns kept appearing in his hands, and how Kid Blue was built up so much and then died in one shot. My second biggest issue is what NothingChanged said. I don't think Joe's suicide will change the kid's path. The movie was good, mainly for the performances, but it had too many problems to be considered great.
Noneo Yourbusiness
20. Longtimefan
Just a point of view, not a justification.

It would seem to me that the voice over would be a conceit of telling the story to the person watching it as though it was happening in the present tense. So in a way the person can speak to the audience not from the future but in the moment so when the end of the movie arrives all parties arrive at the same moment instead of being witnesses to pre existing events.

I am not saying it is a good reason or even a well executed one I am just posting a thought that it could be a way to see the narrative as not being altered by the conclusion becasue as the movie is happening the audience is witnessing the unfolding of events at the moments they are unfolding along with the narrator.

This does mean that one could never watch the movie a second time since the previously existing film would cease to exist. :)
21. ThingsChanged
@18 & 19

I can't take credit for this, I read it on some blog but it seemed to make sense to me concerning why when Joe closed his loop the rainmaker still rose to power.

Basically Sid did not see emily blunt as his real mother and the only thing he knew of who he thought was his real mother was that she was killed. So Sid grew up hating the world around him and was determined to kill anything that threatened him. This is what happened when joe closed his loop and older joe never escaped.

So the rainmaker comes to power and begins closing all the loops and eventually we come to the timeline that we see. Old joe escapes and young joe winds up on a farm interacting with the person he will one day supposedly want to kill. These interactions that were not present in the old timeline now start to change things. Sid sees emily blunt desperately trying to protect him, he sees joe trying to protect both of them, and its when emily blunt is willing to die for his protection that he calls her mom and realizes she loves him and he loves her. This instant is when sid changes but theres still a possibility that the rainmaker will rise since old joe is still threatening them. When young joe kills himself thus causing old joe to disappear in this timeline sid is no longer going to become the rainmaker, thus things have changed. Yes the rainmaker might exist in those other timelines but the timeline of that present wont see sid as the rainmaker.

I think you have to look at time travel in this movie as more like creating completely separate timelines. The timeline that old joe exists from is still out there the whole past present and future of it and when he travels back in time the timeline doesn't necessarily diverge so much as create a new timeline from that point forward which could be a good explanation of why the future selves are affected by the present selves in the present because they are still tied to each other, just not tied to the timelines they're originally from anymore. At least this is what i feel a way to look at it is and i feel like its sort of strengthened by the fact that old joe never forgot his wife and that picture stays there when i think its pretty apparent young joe will never fall in love with that woman.

So anyway i think no matter which way you look at the time travel Sid did change due to joes involvement and wont become rainmaker.

Sorry for the rambling and any grammar or spelling mistakes, typing this from my phone.
22. Narmitaj
I enjoyed the movie too, but then had some questions, which is part of the fun of it. (Even, like, how come Joe's 3rd storey (or whatever) apartment has a floor deep enough to hide all that silver and a crouching/standing person? I think Emily Blunt's massive multi-ton panic-room safe was upstairs in her large but simple wooden house - how did that get there and stay there?)

Why did the future people send back each crim to be killed with a vest of silver (or gold)? Why not ship any monies direct to Abe, the 2074 man in 2044, to disburse as necessary to his various killers? Why let the Loopers retire for 30 years, with the possibility of running, hiding, spilling the beans, talking to one another or their lovers and kids and friends and the authorities? Why not just get a gat man to shoot them quietly a month after their retirement party? Are none of these support-gangsters in 2044, 2074 and all the years in between (armourers, drivers, gatmen, girlfriends) undercover officers/turncoats?

If a victim from the future - especially a looper - going on the run is such a big deal, how come the execution is left to a single bod with a blunderbuss? Suppose he is drunk or drugged up, had a flat tire on the way to work, finds some farmers/walkers/picnickers at the execution site - is there no plan B to deal with the hooded victims? And why do loopers have to close their own lives out? Why not avoid the angst by giving the job to someone else less emotionally involved? I feel this documentary has not answered all the questions!

How come Emily Blunt knows all about Loopers, even before Joe blabs to her about it? If she knows, don't loads of other "civilians" not in the criminal network also know, from other blabbers? If lots of normal people know about loopers in 2044, when time travel doesn't even exist, how come the powerful authorities in 2074 have forgotten about them, when time travel does exist and is super-illegal? (And how come the authorities haven't got their own time travel machines well as the crims)

If the victims of the crims in 2074 cannot be killed and their bodies disposed up there because of some kind of tagging, what happens to this "tag" when the men suddenly disappear into the past? Doesn't an alarm go off and don't the authorities - who apparently can track the death and disposal of every dead body - notice that loads of individuals are going missing, all in the same run-down area of Shanghai? (Hasn't even one of the retired loopers got onto the police/authorities and asked for protection? Maybe the police are corrupt, in which case disposing of bodies should be simple enough.)

If telekinesis is possible and presumably developed over time, couldn't the crims by 2074 have figured out a way of offing their victims by staging TK "accidents" - or is the kid the only one who can lift more than a cigarette lighter (maybe he put Blunt's safe upstairs, but then he seem to TK when in Hulk-Carrie Mode, so not really rationally capable of precision furniture-moving).

Anyway. Good fun. And the VO a bit of an error: "And then I killed myself".
23. Ruhayat
Nice attempt, especially the first half. But the thing about how Old Joe and Young Joe now existing in parallel universes doesn't hold. Because it doesn't abide by the rule that movie itself presented earlier to us: that whatever happened to the younger version of the characters, are immediately reflected int he older characters.

This happened to the young pimplefaced guy and his older version when he got amputated, and also when Young Joe carved his arm with the message and the scar immediately appeared on Old Joe's arm.

You can't be showing us one rule and then suddenly change it for parallel universes when it is convenient to the plot, and want to be called an intelligent movie.
Tad Ottman
24. T_Ottman
The big problem I had, apart from the movie being kind of slow, was that the whole reason they used Loopers was because it was too difficult to commit murder in the future and get away with it. Yet when they went to capture Old Joe and send him back to the past, they casually shot and killed his wife. The murder of his wife being his whole motivation for trying to change the past. And once they murdered his wife, they still went to the trouble of sending him back in time, rather than killing him on the spot as well. It drove me nuts.
25. Anthony2001a
This movie does a great job in the first half creating an interesting future universe, then spends the second half of the movie destroying all the conceits created in the first half. So many (no pun intended) loopholes are created in the plot as to drive any intelligent filmgoer crazy. For example: (spoilers ahead)
* The movie spends a lot of time showing that when young Joe experiences something, old Joe recalls it as a memory. So, at the very end, when young Joe realizes that his actions are what creates/created the Rainmaker, old Joe should know that too, instantly, and put the gun down. He doesn't, and that's a violation of the rules.
* The movie posits that people are sent back in time because murders are too difficult to commit. Yet, they murder old Joe's Asian love and don't seem to be too worried about getting rid of the body, which they could easily have stuck in the time machine as well.
* If murder is so tough to commit, why do they try to kidnap people with lethal weapons? Shouldn't they run around with Tasers?
* As others have pointed out, young Joe had numerous other options, from shooting his hand to blowing his own leg off (any of which would have ruined old Joe's aim).
* What kind of criminal organization is dumb enough to send people back in time to be killed by their younger selves? I mean, isn't this a recipe for disaster? Why not send them back to be killed by a stranger who doesn't care? Or send them back to materialize inside a furnace?
* "Hey, Abe. Gotta deal for ya. Go back in time and be a local crime boss. Just forget about everything you've experienced or learned about the future so you can't enrich yourself. Oh, and no Googling your name to see if you died in the past. Yes, I trust you so completely, I'm sure you won't change the present."
* In the universe of old Joe, the whole time travel murder scheme must be known as a massive disaster, with lots of deaths of gangsters (can you really hide the massacre committed by old Joe? People still remember the St. Valentine's Day Massacre!), yet they still go through with it. This must truly be the dumbest criminal organization ever.

I could go on and on, but you get the idea. An interesting and entertaining movie that ultimately betrays its own ideas and merely masquerades as thoughtful science fiction.
26. Ruhayat
There are tonnes of loopholes in the second half that I just found them distracting. They should have just stuck to the first half - "Looper" as a sassy, shallow action flick that happens to be set in the future. I even liked how the film was self-aware of the problems raised by time travel.

Instead, they decided to take themselves seriously in the second half, and that really killed it for me.

Note to Hollywood: just stop using time travel as a central plot device. It will never work, because you have no hope in explaining all the paradoxes that you will create. People will just be celebrating you for being an idiot.
27. darthrihitus
I thought a woman wrote this
28. Mark-
3. Ford intentionally gave a bad voiceover performance, hoping Scott wouldn't use it.

It's almost impossible not to have a science fiction movie without paradoxes. The only one I can think of is The Time Traveler's Wife. The novel Expiration Date also manages to maintain consistent internal logic.
29. Psuke
Personally, I would have liked a bit more time travel in my time travel movie. And I fully agree with your assessment - it was totally ridiculous.

Well, except the voice over narration - being a film of old noir films, I actually rather like voice over narration. Even when it makes no sense because the narrator's dead.
30. kinesis
you know, in the end the film is about how motherly love affects the mind of the child. it was a nice place to finish. for that i appreciate it as a nice sentiment. could definately see a sequel. they should take a leaf out of Prometheus book and explore the story universe. No need to call it Looper 2, or even explore loopers. Could definately see more films focusing on TK and the Rainmaker. I doubt think Joe's suicide will stop what this kid will become, because even in his own mind he positied old Joe killing Cid's mom would be the cause of his rage, but he doesn't know that for sure. The Rainmaker may end up in 2070 whether Joe died or not.
Marcus W
31. toryx
I liked it. I thought it was pretty well done, even if I wouldn't go so far as the other reviewer who called it the best SF film in quite a while.

I'm not going to go into a full analysis. Those of you who liked it will already agree with me, and those who agree with the OP will just argue. But I do think that the TK thing was necessary and actually fit pretty well with the whole premise.
Mike Houser
32. tharkad
I enjoyed Looper while being a little irked that the time travel does not stand up to close inspection. One thing I did enjoy during the movie was wondering whether the writers read Foundation. The way the Rainmaker charcter is described matches pretty well with The Mule. The kid's rather bloddy effect on people is showy but it seems to me if you want to take over multiple mobs with no muscle you have to be very good and changing people's minds.
Alexander Foff
33. Abbumaru
I just watched the movie and although I enjoyed it a lot and appreciate it for its interesting way of portraying a believable, not-so-much-SF future (reminded me of Children of Men) and the IMO funny lines about the problems good old time travel seems to create, I still couldn't get over its weird pacing and the obvious plotholes. All in all I would still recommend it because it got some great scenes and great acting but I wouldn't consider it a great movie. I was waiting for it to throw me for a loop (heh) the whole time, for example by making more of Kid's character (I was waiting for the reveal that he's actually young Abe, right until the moment he smashed Kid's hand).

This is slightly off topic, but I actually posted to ask about 12 Monkeys, one of my favourite movies although I haven't watched it for many years. I can't remember whether it's internally logically consistent or not. Can somebody refresh my memory please? IIRC there seemed to be a problem if it was supposed to loop endlessly, but I can't put my finger on it. Mucho obligado.
34. RichardO
(Spoiler) Even if you accept their time travel rules you will discover plot holes. The most glaring thing that confused myself and my daughter was that when the other Gat man that came to the house is killed by Cid he drops a gun. The main character has it in the field. But somewhere in the movie he loses the gun? At the end, he just has his blunderbus and kills himself. It doesnt make sense the main character is missing his long range pistol. Perhaps during his fight with Kid Joe it gets lost I dunno
37. AGraCru
...you've never watched Sunset Boulevard, have you?
38. NotForMe
I have been a science fiction fan (not to be confused with sci-fi) for so long that I don't expect too much from sci-fi films. I'm still often dissapointed when the obvious is overlooked in this or that movie.
In any case, with over-optimism, I took a chance at hope with Looper. As it turns out it wasn't tropes or bad logic or any of the usual problems with Hollywood sci-fi that got to me.
What got to me was the inablility of the movie to get to me at all. The film ended. I didn't care. The characters were useless fluff in a useless fable-like story.
It kind of reminds me of film "The Perfect Storm." It had "movie" written all over it.
Jarrett Waldick
39. loopersgreat
You people all realize time travel is completely made up right?

The only confusing part was the combination of reciprocity and solid timelines. Somehow they could cause physical deformities to loop back to the present for the future people, while directly interfering in your own past doesn't change your own timeline. Remember people, time travel doesn't exist, and both the recurring time line and seperate time lines types of time travel are equally valid. In my opinion, it seems like with the Looper boss and all that, that they stick to the seperate timelines style of time travel and that the physical nature is the only part that loops. I mean, Bruce Willis appearing and not dying doesn't make him non-existant so they're obviously seperate timelines.

And does noone understand how Joe's character effects his interactions with his future self? Joe couldn't just maim Old Joe. Old Joe would NEVER stop hunting Cid. Young Joe is the only one who truly understands.

Seriously, I'm suprised the person who wrote this article, in their snobby deconstruction of the film, missed the whole initial interaction between Abe and Joe. Abe said he chose Joe because he was a tangle of instincts and emotions. That's what the whole movie was about really. Joe's inability to control his own emotions.
40. Looper was awful
Ugh, what a stinker.

C'mon guys! What about wanting to kill the 'Rainmaker'? What a stupid plotline.

So he's closing the Loops? So what? He's a criminal going straight?

Bruce Willis needed to man up and face his earned death like a MAN instead of prancing around feeling holier than thou and sorry for himself.

Remember he kills two kids unnecesarily while trying to what exactly? Save his own life? Will killing the Rainmaker as a child even accomplish that? It is not explained properly.

How about coming clean to his wife about his former life of crime and making honest arrangements with her? What about showing up to the crime headquarters when his 30 years is up and taking it like a man?

Too novel?

41. deerstop
I didn't care about any of the characters, and that was my problem with the film. I don't give a shit about anybody = I don't care about the film.

Subscribe to this thread

Receive notification by email when a new comment is added. You must be a registered user to subscribe to threads.
Post a comment