November 17, 2012
I heard a lot of people saying good things about Looper before I saw it, but it's a time travel film and can any film stand up to the time-travel mind scrambling brilliance of Primer?
Well, no. And Looper seems to know it too, because it is parts a gangland revenge thriller, part time-travel and part psychological horror. It starts with time travel and crime gangs in a fairly mundane exposition laden way. The future is grimy and run-down. Time travel is illegal. The gangs are powerful in the city. The story follows a Looper who kills people sent back from the future.
The time travel, of course, makes no sense. The idea of the Loopers killing people from the future and then killing themselves and having thirty years to live is good and used as the core event in the story, but the multiple timelines are used as a jarring effect and the logical sense of it is fuzzy.
I found the violent gangland aspect of the story a bit tedious, violent for the sake of it and not original but fortunately the film twists half way through, throwing the gang city based antics into the background and instead focusing on a lonely farm house and a scary telekinetic. It's a strange twist, it works, because I liked the second half of the film better, but it felt as if the writer was not confident that the original ideas could sustain the story so they threw in as many other things as they could imagine. I think I'd have preferred a film entirely placed on the isolated farm, it felt more focused and more complete a story, everything else felt like a distraction.
I was left slightly confused, slightly disappointed and yet I enjoyed the last half of the film. Could have been better. I felt the urge to watch Primer after seeing it.