I think that I would have had other thoughts on Looper, had I seen it when it was released. There’s always something different when you’re sitting in a crowded cinema in avid anticipation of the newest blockbuster, your overpriced popcorn sitting next to you as you eagerly whisper to your friends and shush people before the film starts; as opposed to having the experience in your living room, waiting for the disc to load, before you get interrupted by life. But I saw it in my room, so the only perception I have of Looper is this: it sucked.
I didn’t think I would say those two words considering the hype surrounding the film from its release, but it did. Looper had a good cast – Joseph Gordon-Levitt (JGL), Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt are all successful actors in their own right yet in this film they failed to get my attention. Yes, JGL wears prosthetics to make himself look like a young Bruce, but if you’ve seen Willis in Die Hard or Pulp Fiction, you’ll know that he looks a right side better than that. No offence JGL; and yes, Emily Blunt dyed her hair and changed her accent to play a futuristic american mother, but to be honest, if you want to see a film with a blonde southern woman, The Help‘s already out on DVD – I’m sure you’d enjoy that more. At least I would.
Now I’d like to say that yes, I did understand the concept of the film; Looper tells the story of a man who is employed as an assassin. He assassinates men sent back from the future by the current mob bosses and eventually, will have to kill himself (a 30 year older version) which is called closing the loop. We’re shown at the start of the film – after the first yawn inducing 30 minutes – the penalty for letting yourself run. If you fail to shoot, you will be seen to by ‘The Doc’ – remember not to eat during this part. I made that mistake… This would be the part of the film in which Willis turns up wouldn’t it? But wait… that would be too easy. Instead, the audience is subjected to about another ten minutes before Willis and JGL even meet, and that in itself is a non-event.
I found myself waiting for the scene in all of the trailers, where Willis and JGL are reunited in the Diner, where I was promised an action sequence that would blow my mind. Yet all I could think when it finally came to that point was, ‘damn, I ran out of snacks’ and ‘Hmm, I think I should check facebook’. Neither of those are good signs. I love films, I watch too many in fact, yet if I could take back having watched this one, I would.
Of course, there was a slight redeeming feature which came in the form of Pierce Gagnon, the cute little boy who manages to turn the film from being what many called ‘the new Matrix’ into a scene from The Exorcist. Kudos little one. There’s something about Gagnon’s character, Cid, that both unnerves me, and draws me in at the same time. I rarely say this, but in my opinion, this 7 year old stole the show.
I’m sure that many would disagree with me, but I think that this film was just surrounded by too much good press, that when it came down to it, I couldn’t enjoy it as much. I feel as though I need to apologise to the Wachowski siblings for ever thinking this film would surpass one of their creations.
Looper (2012), directed by Rian Johnson, is released on Blu-ray and DVD by Entertainment One, Certificate 15.