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Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, Noah Segan, Piper Perabo and Jeff Daniels
Written and Directed by Rian Johnson

Yours Cranky never thought I'd have to write about a SF/fantasy film with words including "requires way too much thinking to simply enjoy" but here we are . . .

IN SHORT: A film which made Cranky's head hurt. [Rated R for strong violence, language, some sexuality/nudity and drug content. 118 minutes]

We're dating our self with that Monty Python reference. Looper isn't a comedy in any shape or form. It is flat out drama based upon a SF fantasy conceit and it is a pretty good sit. That being written, get the popcorn buying and munching out of the way before the film starts. You're going to have to pay very close attention to a very complicated smash up of parallel stories which aren't parallel stories at all.

That last sentence is only as confusing as Looper could have been, except that it isn't. But just barely. By that we mean; we have found over that last 20 years of writing that the readers of this site want to know two things: Did we, and the audience we sat with, like the movie? Second, can we explain it all (to you), just in case.

Yes to the first and as to the second, we'll give you what little we can without wrecking the story.

If you are reading this before seeing the movie, stop reading and buy the ticket. If you are reading for explanation, here is all you are going to get . . .

Sometime in the late 21st century (circa 2070 we guess), scientists perfect a method for time travel, the practice of which was immediately made illegal. Also in that near future, law enforcement has succeeded to such a state that The Mob can no longer rub out its enemies in the style to which it had become accustomed. That means -- take a deep breath -- the only folks using the illegal time travel tech are the organized Mob. Under the control of an individual called "The Rainmaker," dozens have been sent back in time (roughly 2040) and in this present, hit men take them out.

A guy named Abe (Jeff Daniels) is the overseer of the Rainmaker's operations. Abe is from the future, just so's you know. In Abe's employ is a guy named Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who, when they show up on a Kansas farm, blows the future drek to pieces with a shotgun. Joe plans to retire to France one day. Abe tells him he should be looking to China. Just saying.

Joe is not a solo operator. One day another hit man, Seth (Paul Dano) -- shows up in a panic. He is on the run from The Rainmaker, and relays the information that all "loopers" . . . yes, it's the title but do not ask us to explain that one thing . . . are being taken, uh, out of the time travelling loop by The Boss.

More to the point, one day the person who pops thirty years back in time to be killed is an older version of Joe. Take another deep breath . . .

"Old" Joe (Bruce Willis) is on an entirely different mission. It seems the future Mob are losing control of the world to some kind of mutant -- no, not like the X-Men -- and, if "old" Joe can find and kill the boy that will wreck the future world, well, good for Joe,

Pierce Gagnon plays the kid "Cid" in our present day. If we say any more this is going to get soooo confusing, so we're going to shut up. There's a significant performance from the boy's mom Sara (Emily Blunt) but Looper is the kind of film that will require multiple viewings to make sense of the entire thing.

If Looper succeeds it will be the kind of movie that spurs the creation of a multitude of websites to discuss and enhance whatever the story of the film is. That being written, for the benefit of those that have been checking in on this site since we slammed The Matrix (the first movie) for its utter lack of story, here's another disappointment for you . . .

We actually enjoyed this one.

Yes, we did. There are significant visual effects in this film, but none of them get in the way of telling the story. As for that story though, we were holding on for dear life <vbg>.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Looper, he would have paid . . .


That's better than our usual rating for the better-than-average dateflick and just short of the lowest level of what passes for a rave from this site. However you see it (and we go with a big screen view and all the DVD plays you can get, once it's legally released), do so.

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The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.