Movie #10 2020: Looper (2012)

Joseph Gordon Levitt as Joe and Bruce Willis as Old Joe

This is a new one for me in that it’s probably the first review I’ve written for TQR that I’ve been really quite “meh” about.

I’m quite a big fan of movies with the themes contained in this one, namely time travel and pure action. However, Looper manages to fall short of being brilliant at either one of them.

As usual, Joseph Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis deliver good performances. Are they brilliant performances? No. Both actors have been better in other things. But this movie is very middle-of-the-road in all aspects.

With his most recent film in Knives Out (review coming soon!), Rian Johnson already seems to have made something a lot more successful than this movie, both in critics’ response and box office. (Knives has already surpassed Looper by over $100 million at the box office). Although I wasn’t a fan of his newer venture either, I can positively say that it was more memorable than this.

Firstly, one thing that pissed me off was the way they changed JGL’s face. I understand that they were attempting (and not successfully) to make him look more like a young Bruce Willis, but the result unfortunately makes him look more like future Sandy Frink in Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion. The difference here being that the latter is a comedy, so it’s kind of supposed to look stupid, and also that it was made in 1997. You’d think the prosthetic department would have advanced just a little more between then and 2012. That’s 15 whole years to perfect prosthetic skin. For that, I can’t forgive them.

This is a movie that isn’t 100% bad, of course. It started off a little slow for me, but once more of the timey-wimey stuff kicked in, I became a bit more enthralled. There’s one particular scene where Joe and his older counterpart meet in a diner, and it’s probably the one scene that brought enough tension to keep me on the edge of my seat.

Unfortunately, once I hit the 01:15:00 mark, I lost most of my interest. Were it not for Emily Blunt delivering a stellar performance, and the scenes in which her child lets out a couple of ear-shattering screams, I’d have felt truly let down on the whole.

It’s not an awful film, I’ll say that again. Would I recommend it? No. In fact, it’s a good way to spend 2 hours if you don’t want to have to think about anything too much and just stare at a screen. But even then, I’d recommend watching a whole host of other things before this. Maybe just watch Meet Me in St. Louis or Toy Story 2 and you’ll probably feel more satisfied afterwards.

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