Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by JD, Sep 28, 2012.



  1. Excellent

  2. Above Average

  3. Average

  4. Poor

  5. Horrible

    0 vote(s)
  1. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    May 10, 2005
    The visitor's bullpen
    Apparently loopers consider it standard procedure, being ordered to kill their future selves...if I was one, I'd freak out knowing what would eventually happen to me. Seems that would be a bit of a downer, knowing that your ultimate destiny is to be murdered...even if you get to live a life of luxury up to that point, you'd still know you're going to die, and the exact circumstances thereof...and who wants that?
  2. trekkiebaggio

    trekkiebaggio Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 20, 2004
    Dancing to the Jailhouse Rock
    I saw it last night and thought it was really good.

    One thing I really don't get about the time travel is when they etch things into their skin it only appears on their future selves at that same moment. Surely they should have always had the scars?
  3. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

    Jul 23, 2001
    This actually makes some sense to me. While Joe is describing the concept, he does say something like "this job doesn't attract the most forward thinking people." Remember, Loopers seem to live a life of luxury and protection. While Joe was driving his nice car through the poor neighbourhood, someone tried throwing a bottle at him, and that person was instantly swarmed and beaten by a gang that seems to pop up from nowhere.

    So, all it takes is a person desperate and down on their luck to have this opportunity thrust at them. Money, women, protection and one day you'll be free to do whatever the hell you want with all these things. Clearly everyone just ignores the fact that they'll someday get killed with the attitude of "everyone dies eventually anyway."
  4. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

    Mar 4, 2004
    Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
    In standard practice, it wouldn't make a difference, since the guy has his face covered and they're supposed to shoot instantly.
    He doesn't. The system was set up by the previous mobsters; he just took it over, and is liquidating the loopers because one of them killed his mother.
    Bringing in sources not in the movie, the director said that was not intended, and burning the house was a weak attempt to cover their tracks that probably wouldn't work.

    I thought it was terrific. Strong characters, intense action, good plotting. The specifics of the time travel are full of things you can question (something the movie acknowledges, and then dismisses; I guess it really comes down to whether you agree with Old Joe that "it doesn't matter"). Really, the only sort of time travel that makes logical sense is a stable loop, which this isn't.
  5. Mach5

    Mach5 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 23, 2008
    Why doesn't the mob just send their marks 40 billion years into the past or something? No need for loopers or anything. :D
  6. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 18, 2006
    Flying Spaghetti Western
    I didn't read the thread yet but I just saw it. I really liked it for most of the length but I hated the following:

    - Having the TK thing play an important part at the end was cheesy. I liked the TK's being a futuristic detail unique to this film and little more.

    - My main gripe was the Omen-meets-Xavier child at the end. Once he became important the film started to fall apart.

    - Also I don't mind edgy movies, especially sci fi films, I still think it's tasteless to have small children be targets for murder.

    - Gordon-Levitt overall sounded and looked more like Willis as it went on, but I still think that he didn't look enough like him. He's not much younger than Willis was in Die Hard, so you can see the problem I had.

    - The main problem with that is that Gordon-Levitt is 130 lbs soaking wet, whereas Willis has a stocky brutish frame. Which leads me to...

    - Emily Blunt looked stronger physically than Gordon-Levitt any time they were on the screen together. Particularly during the sex scene.. she had muscles and he did not. Also very noticeable in the scene where she is chopping wood and he is standing behind her.. the scene seemed to exist for the sole purpose of accentuating how much stronger she is than he is. His girlfriend earlier in the film also looked stronger. It really threw me off.
  7. DarthPipes

    DarthPipes Vice Admiral Admiral

    Mar 3, 2006
    Great film. Really like the hard sci-fi and the fact they weren't afraid to make the characters unlikeable. Best film I've seen Bruce Willis (Brue Willis does well when he does sci-fi) in in years although JGL is the one who shines. That creepy was creepy and very good.
  8. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

    May 8, 2003
    The Red Church of Niah
    I saw it tonight, to satisfy my own curiosity, and I thought it was pretty decent. I voted average, but for purposes of this movie I'd consider that to be in the B/B+ range. It was nice to see that no one assumes the past can't be changed by too many variables (which is presumably one reason the future criminals don't do more with the technology to change their present), and that immediate changes to a person living in the present are felt by their future loop and become part of the loop's memory. Must be hell for the loop though. ;)
  9. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Dec 27, 2006
    the real world
    The plot incorporates paradoxes which means it is impossible. There is no internal coherence, it all comes from the clock in the theater lobby. What happens before, by that clock, causes whatever happens after, by that clock, regardless of what in-universe year the particular events are taking place in. I downgraded the movie one level for this.

    However, if you believe that Joseph Gordon-Levitt has developed enough conscience to exercise judgment upon himself, then the movie worked. (incidentally, there is no love story between Emily Blunt and Gordon-Levitt: The character does what he does because he identifies with the kid whose life is repeating his.) Also, the movie completely depends upon accepting the premise that murder isn't just a conflict with a winner and a loser (and whether you care depends upon how much you like the winner or loser,) but depends upon a deep conviction that murder is wrong.
    My guess is that this will not be a successful movie in today's climate.
  10. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

    Jul 23, 2001
    Couple of problems wit that logic:

    -The Rainmaker knows a Looper is going to kill his mother so makes sure Loopers are being sent back? This is basically just making sure his mother gets killed. Which would make sense if his goal is to make sure his life unfolds the way it did.

    -Since Gordon-Levitt Joe killed Willis Joe in the original timeline, that would mean there must be another Looper who will get sent back and kill Cid's mother, if indeed seeing her get killed by a Looper is what makes him become the Rainmaker.
  11. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

    Mar 4, 2004
    Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
    Looking back at the interview, Johnson actually says its ambiguous whether Cid as an adult is purposefully revenging himself on the loopers.

    The interview is here, by the way; he discusses ten questions that have been raised about it.
  12. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell memelord Premium Member

    Jun 12, 2001
    While the movie could have spent its entire running time explaining the vagaries of time travel and making sure it had absolutely no paradoxes, in the end it was a story about the ways in which our choices shape who we are.

    It was by no means perfect, but I appreciate that their effort was to make a character piece rather than an action film with sci-fi window dressing. I agree that the first half was stronger than the second half. It was fun trying to stay one step ahead of the story. None of it was too surprising. I had a feeling young Joe would end up "breaking the loop" the way he did.

    One thing I appreciated was how you could alternately be afraid of and feel sorry for Cid. Here was a kid too smart, perceptive, and powerful for his own good, unable to control his excesses (like most kids) and who has seen and done things no child should be burdened with. The movie really hinges on how well you empathize with Cid. I initially found myself understanding old Joe's motivation. One man ruling the future in such a way just doesn't sound like a good thing, especially since Joe implied the Rainmaker killed a lot of people to get to where he was. I wasn't a big fan of him having to kill children to save the future, but that sort of thing is part and parcel of this type of story: you have to make sacrifices in the present to save the future, and if you had the chance to kill Hitler as a child, wouldn't you?

    But then we got to know more about Cid and Sarah, and Joe gradually warmed up to him, and it became clear that Cid was no inhuman monster, just a frightened little boy who could learn to control his power, given the right upbringing. I got a sense of dire responsibility from Sarah very early on, like there was more to her relationship with Cid than simply a mother caring for her son. When I saw her exhibit TK abilities, I realized that Cid's tantrum wasn't just a subjective portrayal from Sarah's POV, but Cid actually using his abilities and scaring the shit out of her (with good reason.) I found that a pretty clever trick by the director. :) After that point, why she felt such an obligation to protect Cid from the outside world made perfect sense. She clearly saw it as a very corrupt and petty place, a place she knew only too well, and she no doubt feared the corrupting effects it would've had on her son--and what damage he could do with his abilities, given no moral compass and no sense of family.

    I originally thought it would have been nice to see the future Rainmaker and how he might have been changed with his life being saved by a Looper, rather than his mother being killed by one. But in retrospect, it makes more sense that we don't get to see it. Young Joe makes what he sees as the only right choice, but he'll never get to see the results of it--nor should we. You just have to trust that things will turn out better. Maybe they will, maybe they won't.

    I feel like the people focusing on how the sci-fi elements work are really missing the forest for the trees. It's not about that. It's just like old Joe said--"It doesn't matter." After all, he wasn't driven by some desire to create a better future in the abstract, he was motivated by love, and the will to get his life back.

    Old Joe couldn't think of any other way to secure his future than by killing people in the past. That's who he was. That's how he grew up--as a killer. Young Joe, in seeing this, realized that wasn't what he wanted. Old Joe was incapable of changing his path. Young Joe hadn't yet lost himself, and made a different choice.

    In storytelling terms, it's all quite simplistic and easy to follow from A to B. In character terms, there is quite a bit going on here--certainly more than you'd find in your typical sci-fi thriller.

    I'll rank it Above Average.
  13. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 6, 2001
    Sac, Ca
    Thought it was pretty good, but from the hype and reviews I was expecting something a LOT more twisty and mind-bendy, or something as cool and original as Memento or 12 Monkeys. But this didn't quite rise to that level unfortunately.

    The entire concept of the Loopers just seems awfully silly and contrived, with mobsters using time travel technology and setting up this entire, complicated system.... just to off people?!? (Really? Because they don't have incinerators in the future or something??)

    And once the kid enters the picture, it's not too hard to figure out the rest unfortunately.

    The best part was the great performance by Willis, and the amazing way Levitt actually seems to look and act like a younger version of him.
  14. auntiehill

    auntiehill The Blueness Premium Member

    Feb 7, 2006
    I'd rank it Above Average as well. Not, it's not perfect, by any means, but I really liked the overall plot of personal choices, upbringing, who we are and what we do. I think Gordon-Levitt gives one HELL of a performance; he is the one who carries the movie, not Willis.

    The choice the character makes at the end of the film is not one I saw coming until right before it happened. I really appreciated that.
  15. Ometiklan

    Ometiklan Captain Captain

    Jul 14, 2003
    Silver Spring, MD
    I thought the movie was above average. I really liked the characters and the universe created, and would have rated the movie excellent, except the second half was a little slow and the time travel mechanics don't make sense (but I have accepted that element).

    (Apparently in the script the scene in the diner actually has them explain time travel with straws but in the movie they just had Old Joe (Willis) ridicule that concept. If anyone actually has the script, I would be interested in reading that scene.)

    Anyway, to address the two main points I would like to clarify for people:
    1. The basic premise is that murder at some point in the future is too difficult to get away with, so future mobsters send bodies back to be disposed of. You must accept that premise as the background and move forward from there. Critiquing the movie on that point is like critiquing the movie for having time travel at all saying that "time travel inherently makes no sense." Slightly more valid question is why they don't send their victims into the distant past, but again, the premise is the premise; I don't think the details of the "tagging", etc. need to be explored when the focus of the movie is on identity, selfishness, violence, impact on children, etc.
    2. Despite still not liking how the mechanics of time travel were depicted (the fact that injuries to the younger versions affect the older versions of people, but nothing seems to affect all the events leading up to that moment makes no sense in any logic), I have come to appreciate the movie slightly more than I did upon leaving the theater. I don't like it, but that is how the time travel works in this movie. The good thing that it does is that it allows for a kind of hybrid time travel mechanic where paradoxes are allowed and not allowed at the same time. In this case, the biggest outcome is that Joe can influence Cid and Cid's mom's lives (preventing Cid from becoming the Rainmaker) and still having his personal journey and duel with his older self.

    Right up until Young Joe made the decision to shoot himself I was thinking that the movie would have Old Joe "realize/remember" the revelation his younger self came to, and would put down the gun. In fact, all through the movie when Old Joe was fighting to remember his wife in the face of his shifting memories, I figured that Young Joe's character development would shift Old Joe's character around until they were closer to being the same person. Where at least they would see the big picture in the same way and no longer be enemies, but that is simply not the way the movie went.

    Now a thought that later baked my noodle was wondering why the mobsters would still have guns in the future? Especially when going to kidnap a former looper. That looper obviously knows you don't want to use the gun, the whole reason you are kidnapping him is to avoid killing him in that present. So it makes no sense to have it, especially when they have perfectly effective "stun guns" in the same scene. That was obviously a plot point made simply because it had to be and the director didn't think through the logic of it. JGL even alludes to it when he discusses the shotgun at the farm; he isn't afraid of the gun because he isn't afraid of the person wielding it. Old Joe would never be afraid of any mob employee carrying a gun in the future.
  16. hyzmarca

    hyzmarca Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Feb 9, 2009
    Supposedly, they have 100% perfect tracking and biomonitering implants in the future. If you kill someone the police will know exactly when they died and who was there with them. That means that the identity of the killer will be pretty obvious.

    Sending them back in time means that they vanish from the tracking system, but there is no death signal.
  17. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    May 10, 2005
    The visitor's bullpen
    The exact same thing happened in Frequency. In 1969, a character's hand is blown off, and his 1999 self watches that same hand wither away into nothing instantly.
  18. Yoda

    Yoda Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jul 13, 2000
    San Diego
    Well, at least time travel leads to interesting "what if" questions. I don't find the tagging technology interesting, in addition to it not making much sense. I think it's a pretty valid criticism for a movie being championed as "brainy sci-fi."
    Ok, so they just disappear. Let's think about this. If this system is 100% perfect and never loses tracking, then the signal going dark would be equivalent to a death signal. If not you could exploit that flaw in the signaling system to kill someone and destroy the body/tagging without using time travel (aka the most illegal thing of all).

    Whoa, people keep disappearing from the system right after these 3 mobsters abduct them and take them to abandoned buildings!!?!? Someone call Matlock, this it too perplexing!
  19. Star Wolf

    Star Wolf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Mar 14, 2003
    ciudad de Los Angeles
    So I am guess that the tracking and need for a looper only happened after Joe retired and married? It looked like he graduated from being a looper finishing off a blindfolded man to being a gatman doing open murders and shootouts with little concern of any immediate police action.
  20. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Commodore Commodore

    Sep 2, 2008
    Levitt was destined to play the Gatman!