Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Review: Looper

I'm going to try to be vague on a lot of the details, even the stuff that's revealed very early on, but everyone's idea of a spoiler is different so read at your own risk.

The basic premise is that people called Loopers get paid by employers from the future to kill people from the future.  There's a catch to this that propels much of the plot but I won't reveal that. But something happens to send the main character, himself a Looper on the run chasing oine of his targes that gets away.

The movie is well acted, and has lots of action and interesting ideas.  It's a shame that the time travel logic just didn't work for me. If someone from the future shows up in the present and then something happens to his past self, the future self is only affected at the point that it happens to the past self. To to use an example that's not in the movie (so as to avoid spoiling anythin that does happen), if the past self loses an arm, the future self still has two arms until his past self loses the arm and could be carrying something with that arm until it blinks out. For me to buy into things more, the changes should have already been in effect when the future self arrived because they'd already happened to him.

There's also a scene early on that doesn't seem to jibe even with this logic and seems to be in there mainly to try to placate people who disaagree with the logic that the rest of the movie (even the ending) takes.

There's also bits about telekinesis that except in one case I'd cut from the movie because the movie works just fine without the other cases.  And there's also a character who's critical to the plot but who because we only see glimpses of them, I wasn't able to make the connection with that character I needed to fully appreciate another character's agenda.

I don't want to pan the movie too much. Again, there's a lot to like about the movie, particularly the interaction in one coffee shop sequence.  And the kid is a good enough actor that despite him playing yet another kid who speaks with the dialogue of someone in their 20s, he actually made me sympathize with him.  I appluad the movie for trying to be something different and not just a cookie cutter sci-fi action movie.

But, despite the fact that overall critics and audience members who post online seem to love the movie I still can't quite recommend it. There's a lot to like about the movie but I just wasn't able to suspend disbelief in this instance.  It's a shame because there's a lot of movies that are a lot more dumbed down and don't try as hard that I do enjoy up to a point, and I want to see more ambitious stuff like this.  But if I can't buy into some pretty critical elements of the plot then I must reluctantly state that it just doesn't work on the whole.

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