Film Review: Looper

In a world where society is breaking down without much explanation, there is apparently a profession called, “Looper,” wherein one murders people from the future and disposes of their bodies.  Because those in the future want no association with these Loopers, eventually, they will have to also kill their older selves.

Okay…  The idea has potential.  I’ll admit, the idea intrigued me.  I saw the film after all.  And, to be fair, most of the artists in this project did their jobs amazingly well.  The acting was great, the cinematography astounding, the special effects believable, and the musical score beautiful.  The direction was fair, but nothing special.  Aside from one minor detail, this had all the making of a great film.

What was that detail?  The script.  I’m sure amateur screenwriter, Rian Johnson, had a message he was trying to get across with his film, but he didn’t express it articulately enough for me to know what that message was.  I’ve published better-written short films to YouTube.

What exactly was my problem with his writing?  Aside from the fact that his ideas were all over the place with no clear direction of narrative, which made it confusing as hell at some points, he tried to write a time travel story with no previous understanding of time travel.

With great difficulty, I suspended disbelief throughout the film, in spite of the fact that changes in the past affected the present, but not the time in between.  Imagine, I cut off my younger self’s hand, so MY hand disappears now. I had it from the time I lost it to now, but I don’t have it now, and I didn’t have it then.  It’s just so clearly and unmistakably wrong. How a major studio greenlighted a film with such glaring mistakes in continuity is beyond me.

But, here’s the kicker.  They topped the whole thing off by, at the very end, rendering all of my effort to believe this story moot.  A blatant grandfather paradox threw what little redeeming value was left in this story right out the window.

It’s no wonder this film is highly acclaimed by critics, professional and amateur alike.  One has to hand it to the cast and the crew for taking their work seriously in spite of the horrible script they had to work with, which is more than you can say for the cast and crew of Batman & Robin, whose script was almost as bad, but whose cast and crew didn’t even try.

Johnson’s script wasn’t even warranting of a rewrite.  It would have been put to better use as kindling in the fireplace during the cold winter months to come.  The rest of the talented cast and crew would have had no trouble finding work elsewhere.  They must have had a huge heart to give Rian Johnson a job in screenwriting, but let’s face it. He should be in a field more suited to his talents.  You know?  Like making my sandwich at Subway.

The critic who wrote the local paper’s review gave it three stars, and I think that was rather generous. I’d give the film as a whole two stars, but that’s only because the rest of the cast and crew shifts the average that made me give the script no stars.  If you like eye candy, by all means, go see it.  But, if you watch films for a coherent story, you probably want to skip this one.

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