Any review of the movie LOOPER that tells you essentially any elements of the plot is going to be written by a jerk who doesn't want you to get the full movie experience - take that to the bank. What we're going to talk about here and now is how you need to see the movie and what sort of mood you need to be in. LOOPER is a time travel movie when you go into it, and a bit of a baffling mystery wrapped inside an enigma when you walk out of it - but you wont be walking right out of it, you'll be sitting in the chair thinking about what you just watched, just like you're supposed to while the credits are rolling.
Do you remember what it felt like to see The Dark Knight in the theater? If you didn't see The Dark Knight (the one with the Joker in it, not "Rises" which just came out), you'll have an idea of what this film did to me. I've seen some movies recently that were entertaining, to be sure - Total Recall was a fun adventure, Men in Black III was a great mix of comedy and relatively fun action - but none were movies I told even my co-workers that they had to see. LOOPER is a movie I'm telling my co-workers, friends, and family members that they have to see - in the theater, no less.
LOOPER is a movie that's made for the movie theater. There are movies that are made to be watched a bunch of times. The Avengers was certainly made to be a hard-hitting big-screen entertainment force like no other, but made absolutely sure to be re-watchable in just about as big a way as any movie has been in the history of action films. The Amazing Spider-Man is another example - rather similar to The Avengers in that it's comic book-based and made to keep the brand alive, to sell toys, and perhaps third most important, to present an engaging film experience for the sake of making a great movie in and of itself. LOOPER is a movie that's made to be a great movie.
If you plan on seeing LOOPER, please do yourself a favor and see it in a movie theater. Don't bother with the popcorn and the pop (or soda, if you're not living up here in Minnesota), because you won't need to pass the time by eating and drinking like you do with so many movies these days. It wont be an issue for you.
The plot of this film plays second fiddle to the execution, to the way the story is revealed - you can guess a lot of the answers to the questions the characters in the movie have before they do - and you won't be disappointed when you do. What I mean is that this movie does not assume that you're an idiot - this isn't the kind of science fiction / action / horror movie where people scream because someone's jumped out at them or because they've realized that their family has been ripped apart - no way. Instead, loud bangs, revelations, and visual jams on your eyes are used to astound your senses - and not always to make you say "oh wow."
There's also a bit of comedy in this production. LOOPER takes itself seriously until just before you'd normally say "oh come on, that's stupid" in any other movie in which time travel is a plot element. For those of you wondering about the time travel bit in this movie, I recommend you see two things before you enter the theater.
The movie 12 Monkeys has Bruce Willis and a time machine - and it's generally regarded as rather absurd in how serious it takes itself, especially in the universe of time travel movies. It's almost certainly because of that movie - along with the other surprisingly large amount of time travel movies that have made it into the main stream - that Joe (Willis) and Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) have a brief screaming match in a diner about how unimportant the details are. The details being how time travel works and what paradoxes are - in so many words.
This film takes beautiful futurescapes and conceptual industrial design that every Blade Runner lover can't resist and cuts a giant hole from our present time directly into a future possibility of an environment. The ideas you see here outside the time travel concept are quite engaging, and interesting to see as each future vision film is, with those responsible for constructing this environment presenting the future they believe could very well be part of a timeline we're on right this minute.
I believe it - for the most part.
There are some points at which you can tell that the creators of the film gave in to the now nearly cliche ideas of transparent smartphones with no border and the promise of flying motorbikes, but for the most part they serve their purposes in the story perfectly well.
The acting in the movie is up there in the great films each of the top actors and actresses in the movie have done, more or less. Bruce Willis is fresh, certainly making this film an effort that's set to be a point in his career he can be proud of.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt took this movie to the bank, too, making an extraordinary character out of Young Joe, very much a young version of Willis - and executive producing the film as well.
I'm having difficulty finding anything negative to say about the movie, even when I make an effort to nitpick. You'll find reviewers across the board saying this is a "must see" movie, must see for action lovers, for science fiction lovers, and of course for the lovers of both Gordon Levitt and Willis. They can be proud of this production, that's for certain.