Rating: 4 of 5
There are so many things I want to say about Looper I don’t even know where to start.
The thing about good movies is that you can analyze them inside and out. You can draw out narrative parallels that maybe were or were not actually intended. You can talk in circles about character resonance or the way certain elements are achieved without having to hammer them into the audience. Looper stands up to that kind of scrutiny because it’s really well written, even though riddled with paradox, and well acted.
The thing that works so well about it is the authenticity. Emotionally, the way these characters react to these situations is very honest and sometimes funny and doesn’t pull any punches. Which makes the story not only believable but engaging.
So engaging that it’s easy to forgive the aforementioned paradoxes. I didn’t even notice until after the movie when I started thinking logically about it how things really didn’t add up. But even then it didn’t matter. Because the narrative is fascinating. All of the parallels between Joe and Cid, the fact that who the bad guy and good guy are changes so often but you always know in that moment who is who, the way elements are layered in so casually you forget about them until they matter immensely is what works so well. And I usually try not to get into specifics but I just so want to with this film.
But all of that only exists and is worth discussing at length because this is a sci-fi / action film with depth. And it has that depth because it doesn’t neglect the characters for the sake of action or a fast plot or cool special effects, which most action and sci-fi movies do even when the genres don’t cross.
In Looper, the characters mattered. And because the characters mattered, because there was emotional resonance in the film, moments that could have been glanced over were disturbing. Because the characters matter choices have consequences that don’t just change the plot they change the characters and they change the audience’s relationship with the characters. Because the characters matter they have reasons for doing things which makes the plot believable even when it doesn’t make sense.
Looper is so much more than the preview would make it seem. Which is fantastic because even though it’s an intriguing, action packed preview it ends up being a film with a lot of depth. It isn’t entertaining in the sense that I would watch it again and again for fun. But it’s a good movie and really well made on a small budget and I’d watch it again.