Looper (2012)

Filed under: — Helen on October 2nd, 2012 11:10:48 am

Looper is a sci fi action film where Bruce Willis once again proves he can still kick butt even in an alternative reality setting. It’s not the cleverest of Science Fiction films and defies reason even for a film of that genre, but it’s good fun and action packed. Since the two main actors in the film are actually playing the same character, just at different stages in their life, you don’t find yourself rooting for one of them more than the other, and you can just enjoy watching the plot unfold.

In 2072 time travel has been invented but it is only used by the mafia as an effective way to get rid of people without getting caught. A bag is put over the victim’s head and they are sent back 30 years in time  where a hired assassin known as a ‘looper’ is waiting to shoot them. The loopers are a special breed of assassins and when their employers decide to end their contract, they send the looper’s future self back in time to be shot by their former self.  This is called ‘closing the loop’. The looper gets a big pay out and can enjoy the next 30 years of their life before travelling back in time to be killed by their former self.

The main character is a looper called Joe (Gordon-Levitt) who makes the mistake of not shooting his future self fast enough when he appears in front of him. Future Joe (Willis) has somehow travelled in time without a bag over his head, which gives Joe the opportunity to recognise himself and pause, allowing the target to flee. Joe tries to rectify this by searching for his future self with the intention of  killing him as intended before the mafia can catch him.

It’s difficult to sympathise with either of the Joe figures, as they are essentially both murderers.  This does mean though that since you are not rooting for either of them to live, you can just enjoy the action and not worry that your hero looks likely to die.

The ‘TK’ element of the plot where we are informed a mutation has given a small percentage of the population minor telekinetic abilities, is poor and not explained well in the narrative. It’s almost as though they couldn’t think of a good explanation for this plot element but since they needed it to justify the existence of a central character to the plot,  the filmmakers decide to barely mention it and hope viewers won”t notice.

Levitt’s make-up is a bit distracting.  I spent the first twenty minutes of the film trying to work out what had been done to him to make his appearance different to what it normally is. I concluded they had made his nose slightly bigger and given him blue contacts in order to make his future appearance as Bruce Willis more plausible. If you’re not familiar with the actor though, you probably wouldn’t think twice about the make-up.

Looper is an exciting action packed film that keeps you engaged throughout. It is not the cleverest of sci fi films and if you concentrate too hard on the plot, you’ll come away thinking ‘that’s ridiculous, that could never happen’, but if you don’t take it too seriously, then you’ll more than likely really enjoy it.

Dir: Rian Johnson

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt

rating: 8

author picture Helen (94 posts)
I'm a 32 year old from Leeds in England. I watch a lot of films and like writing about them.


  • Nice review. I’m now tempted to see this, if only to disprove that Bruce Willis can still “kick butt”. Maybe i’m just too cynical. Why on earth did they think they could get away with not explaining the telekinesis part?!

    Comment by Jen — Wed October 3, 2012 @ 13:12
  • He can totally still ‘kick butt’.

    Comment by Helen — Wed October 3, 2012 @ 13:35

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