Should You See Looper?
The movie Looper, starring the adorable Joseph Gordon Levitt, came out oh-so-long ago. But it's still relevant—particularly since it has so many timey-wimey-wibbly-wobbly elements in it (and because it has so much of JGL's FACE in it). We've rounded up the reviews for the film so that you can decide if this particular mind-bend is worth a shell-out for both the ticket and a crappy yet addicting movie theater popcorn snack. Here's what critics have to say:
First, the "This shiz is awesome" reviews:
"....pounding action, elegant style, steady-state suspense, marvelous acting and, despite that droll pooh-poohing every now and then, haunting explorations of youth, age and personal destiny. It's a lot to claim for a sci-fi thriller, but I was blown away by Rian Johnson's "Looper."..." — The Wall Street Journal
"...Stick with me here, because however long it takes to get your bearings, Looper is worth it. It's a rip-roaring mind-bender that dodges the sci-fi-for-dummies approach (Resident Evil – really?) and hurls us into a world of existential curveballs and long-toss imagination. The exceptionally talented writer-director Rian Johnson is also a merry prankster who likes messing with heads. Just check out what he and Gordon-Levitt did in Brick, a provocative film noir set in high school..."— Rolling Stone
"...But it’s a lean, mean, smart, violent picture with a bit of Stanley Kubrick edge, fueled by the terrific Gordon-Levitt, who simultaneously plays a guy whose confident worldview is falling apart..." — Salon.com
Now. the "Meh" reviews
"...This noirish time travel saga by Rian Johnson (Brick, The Brothers Bloom) brims with visual detail and imaginative camera set-ups, though it doesn't leave much of an aftertaste. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a contract killer in the mid-21st century whose targets are sent back to him from 30 years in the future; things get hairy when his latest victim turns out to be an older version of himself, played by Bruce Willis in his rueful hangdog mode. The dystopian setting, in which all U.S. infrastructure has eroded and everyone has a price on his head, makes for some bold cultural commentary, but as usual with Johnson, the engaging ideas feel like affectations rather than products of a fully developed sensibility...." —Chicago Reader
"...Looper felt to me like a maddening near-miss: It posits an impossible but fascinating-to-imagine relationship—a face-to-face encounter between one’s present and future self, in which each self must account for its betrayal of the other—and then throws away nearly all the dramatic potential that relationship offers. If someone remakes Looper as the movie it could have been in, say, 30 years, will someone from the future please FedEx it back to me?" — Slate
And finally, the "My eyes! my eyeeeees!" reviews
"…As a big fan of Joseph Gordon Levitt and Rian Johnson (I loved their collaboration Brick) I was prepared to love Looper –but instead I was disappointed by it…While Gordon-Levitt and Willis have a blast with the space-time issues and some funny dialogue, the lovie loses steam after a solid start and just keeps falling apart as it races to a less than satisfying conclusion.” –Atlanticcityweekly.com
"...Not only is it blindingly obvious that this paradox was shown to you, the viewer, to foreshadow the denouement, but the director later completely ignores the story’s own internal logic all for the convenience of an ending that probably tested better with audiences...The other, and more troubling aspect to the film is Mr. Johnson’s use of women as plot devices or Male Support Systems. Every female character, beginning with Suzie (Piper Perabo) the stripper, either caters to a male’s sexual desires, assuages a man’s wounds, or mothers him. Not one of the female characters in the movie exists as a personality of depth with her own motivations..." — Cinemalogue.com
The Consensus is....
I really had to search for negative (or even lukewarm) reviews for this film. Go see it if you love sci-fi, JGL, Bruce Willis and/or all of the above.
Have you seen Looper? What did you think? Also isn't this Looper poster gif just AWESOME?!
Image credit: Collider