In a future where time travel has been invented and outlawed, it is used solely by a criminal organisation who use it to “disappear” undesirables into the past where they are disposed of by hired killers called “loopers”.
I was very much looking forward to Rian Johnson’s foray into science fiction, being a big fan of his two previous films both of which were similar genre homages. Sci-fi is a rather more difficult nut to crack however, as most of the concepts it employs can be traced back to a few key examples. In this case, the comparisons to The Terminator in particular, Twelve Monkeys and Blade Runner are obvious making Looper feel a little too referential in way that Brick and The Brothers Bloom avoided. It could also be argued that its moniker could just as easily refer to the many loop holes in the plot which, like many other time-travel conundrums, do not really stand up to logical scrutiny. But taken at face value Looper has a lot to offer; the cast are all great and its bizarre how convincing Joseph Gordon-Levitt is as a young Bruce Willis – his conspicuous ladyboy eyebrows notwithstanding. There are also some fine action sequences and the twisting plot keeps you guessing making for a very entertaining diversion. It could have been excellent if the pay off had felt more rewarding – the first half of the film is far stronger as the overly lengthy scenes at the farmhouse compromise the pacing and the conclusion felt a little unconvincing.
But as whole Looper is a quality first stab at an intelligent sci-fi potboiler and far better than anything M. Night Shyamalan has done since The Sixth Sense.