It’s not often that a film is marketed as a masterpiece. Even back in 2010, ‘Inception’ didn’t have quotes on the poster like “The Best Film in Years!” and “A Bold and Beautiful Work of Cinematic Art”. The major difference between ‘Inception’ and ‘Looper’ that even those yet to see the film will notice is the director. ‘Inception’ was made by Christopher Nolan, the man behind the record-breaking and unbelievably good ‘The Dark Knight’. Rian Johnson comes to ‘Looper’ having made only two feature films, the low budget indie films ‘Brick’ (starring the at-the-time-newcomer Joseph Gordon Levitt) and ‘The Brothers Bloom’. This is not a man with a similar back record as Christopher Nolan.
‘Looper’ comes at a time when film fans need another ‘Inception’. The aformentioned Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dark Knight Rises’ was a major disappointment to many fans, and although ‘The Avengers’ was fun beyond what people could have predicted, it was not ‘well-made’ the way ‘The Dark Knight’ was. Most film fans have satified themselves with ‘Looper’, critics have given it five-star reviews, and it currently holds the highest Rotten Tomatoes score for a general-release film this year.
I went in to ‘Looper’ expecting to be amazed, and for the most part, I was. I really wanted to love this film, and, thinking about it positively, I did. I seriously considered adoring it, but there was something missing.
The first half plays out like a gritty gangster drama, as JGL kills his victims (if you don’t already know the plot, look it up) and spends his money on prostitutes and eye-drop drugs.
The 10-minute sequence linking 2044 JGL with 2074 Bruce Willis via Shanghai is spectacular, and is deserved of awards. As soon as JGL arrives at Emily Blunt’s house, the film takes a minor turn for the worse. The plot strand about her and her tele-kinetic son is quite ridiculous, and when Garret Dillahunt from TV’s ‘Raising Hope’ turns up, I couldn’t stop laughing.
The film could have been perfect, and it really is great, but not ‘Inception’ great.