Average User Score: 8.0Sep 28, 2012This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Looper has a fantastic start but soon collapses under a weak combination of different storylines and a somewhat random plot element that has too much contrast with the Rian Johnson's "realistic approach".
I was enjoying the film profusely in the beginning - and then Johnson brought up "telekinesis". Yes, being able to move things with your mind. Up until that point, "Looper" has been depicted as a semirealistic movie that focuses on the gangster influenced youth. Bringing telekinesis in for about ten seconds, Johnson then abruptly drops it until it appears in a major plot point. The problem: telekinesis simply has too weak of a context to be actually taken seriously at this point in the movie, making it just seem like a cheap gimmick.
There was also a huge issue in the way the characters were portrayed. At first, I really admired the way Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon Levitt tackled the whole "one being, future vs present" issue: one of them is a naive hothead, while the other is a slightly sadistic but mature old man. Both have great traits that enable us to sympathize with both of them, and the whole first third or so of the movie really plays this development out. And then, Johnson introduces the stupid kid, Sid. Why is Sarah not his mom? Why does that even matter? Why is he so annoying? Why is he such an obnoxious child? Johnson wants us to sympathize with this superkid, yet he makes him as annoying as possible. He also adds an extraneous tension with his mom, Sarah. Apparently she's not his real mom...or is she? Why does it matter, why does Sid have to hate his mother? Willis already suggests that he saw his mom die, so why can't that mom be Sarah and not her sister?
Johnson then wants the audience to feel for Sid by giving him...super telekinetic powers. Yes, a little brat who treats his pretty awesome guardian like crap also causes **** to fly around when he gets mad. Is this Looper or "It's a Good Life"? Instead of the highly anticipated, and heavily emphasized game of cat vs mouse between Willis and Levitt, we get two separate simultaneous story lines that show Willis being cool and Levitt learning to open his heart to women and children. I understand the need to keep plot details to a minimum in trailers, but jesus christ what a misleading bunch of teasers. I wouldn't even mind if the unshown twist was well done and clever; instead we get the same old "kid and mom warm up a killer's heart".
There are plenty of other issues. Every single **** Sid freak out scene is just done so poorly...it's supposed to be serious and emotional, not some guy floating in mid air dancing. Also, Johnson makes us sympathize with Jesse the hired gun: he **** puts his gun down when he sees Sid fall, and then he gets ripped apart by telekinesis? How are we supposed to **** sympathize with that super brat?
I really wanted to like Looper, and I still do. Rian Johnson made a fantastic movie with Brick, and Joseph Gordon Levitt is one of THE best actors today. And who could forget Bruce Willis - one of the most overly typecast and underrated actors of movie history. Unfortunately, there are simply too many flaws with both character development, plot devices, and just plain old "not supposed to be funny but **** hilarious scenes" (Jesse flying and looking like an idiot before getting ripped apart). Unrelated nudity, too many characters...Looper was a great big letdown.… Expand